Misrepresentation Act 1967 & Metal Theft

How can this be relevant to scrap metal? Easily.

The Misrepresentation Act exists to protect consumers from false or fraudulent claims that induce you into entering a contract (written or verbal).

To ‘misrepresent’ is to describe (someone or something) in a false way especially in order to deceive someone; to give someone a false idea about (someone or something).

Let me give you a scenario:

You are regularly selling 1.5 tonnes per month of yellow metals scrap (copper, brass etc) in solid form. All of your materials are segregated. You get a great price, we certainly can’t compete with it, in fact no other merchant can compete. This is your initial alarm bell.

If no other merchant can offer competitive prices for your materials you need to audit your whole process. And quickly.

In the above factual scenario the customer undertook a weight test and established that they had actually been producing an average of 3.5 tonnes per month and had done so for years. Their incumbent merchant had been knowingly under weighing their materials on every transaction but offering amazing prices. If the client had not had an open-mind when they were told that something was probably wrong, they would never have known and would continue to lose thousands of pounds per year.

The customer conservatively estimates the cost to their business to be in the region of £100,000. During the contractual period the company had to make a number of redundancies; had they discovered this misrepresentation earlier they could have saved 3 jobs.

Check your weights frequently, if a price seems too good to be true then it quite possibly is.

The changing face of scrap

The scrap metal industry has until recently been tarred with a less than savoury reputation and with good reason.Cashless trading was introduced in 2012 and was swiftly followed by the 2013 Scrap Metal Dealers Act, introduced to combat the nations metal theft epidemic. Both have, in many areas, proven successful with metal theft reduced by between 40% and 70% in England and Wales – complacency should be avoided though; with the lack of Police funding there is a real possibility that as metal prices rise, so too will the metal theft statistics and it is essential that scrap producers continue to store their materials in a secure location or container.

The impact on industry attitude towards scrap metal merchants is just starting to show – loyalty was previously of huge importance but it is finally being questioned. Attitudes to poor service (which many turned a blind eye too when cash was readily available) are now changing.

Service is king – customers now rightly demand a comprehensive paper trail and a full health and safety assessment, all should insist on checking the credentials of the scrap purchaser – are they allowed to buy your metal scrap or is your company inadvertently feeding criminality by dealing with an unlicensed individual or organisation? Many are visiting their preferred scrap metal merchant, undertaking a full site audit to ensure the quality of company they are dealing with is appropriate.

Scrap is no longer ‘scrap’ in the traditional sense, it is now a valuable commodity adding value directly to a companies bottom line – savvy companies that work in industries where pricing is overly competitive will take into consideration the scrap value of the contract when quoting for new business – often giving them a clear advantage over competitors.

Pricing remains keen but for larger companies, their Duty of Care obligations are now of major importance, especially when ISO is taken into consideration. Smaller companies often remain unaware as to exactly what their Duty of Care obligations from the Environment Agency are – in the simplest of terms a producer of waste (including scrap metal) is responsible for ALL waste from cradle to grave, failure to adhere to the Duty of Care could leave a scrap producer with a potential Environment Agency prosecution, professional Scrap Metal Merchants should assist you in fulfilling and understanding your obligations – if, as a bare minimum your merchant is not providing you with paperwork the chances are that you may be breaching your Duty of Care.

Nicola Guest, Marketing & Media Manager

Alchemy Metals Ltd, Cavendish Point, Cavendish Road, Stevenage SG1 2EU

Tel:01438 745307 or 07970 198698
E-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Environmental Permitting Obligations

Some blogs can be witty, amusing or simply downright entertaining but others really do warrant a slightly more formal approach especially when talking about Scrap Metal Dealers and Environmental Permits.
Scrap Metal Dealers normally fall into one of two categories, they will either hold a 'Standard Rules Permit' which allows them to purchase, store and process 'normal' scrap waste from most manufacturing sectors or they will hold a T9 exemption. The T9 is an exemption that all UK manufacturers should be exceedingly wary of as ultimately it means the Scrap Metal Dealer in question may only deal with waste from the construction sector, categorically not waste from the manufacturing sector.

Read more ...

The Metal Nations State of Play

During the last 12 months we have seen immense changes within our industry that are unprecedented. Whether you agree or disagree the changes are here to stay.

Government has finally got to grips with metal theft and forced legislation upon an industry that has historically been apathetic at best about the dubious nature of materials that passes through its doors – out of the ashes of apathy the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 has risen and although in its infancy many are questioning the methods and the inequity of its enactment.

Read more ...

Out of the ashes of apathy the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 is born

If Alchemy Metals had a synonym then 'best practice' would probably be it.
We make no apologies for having one of the loudest voices within the scrap metal industry – just look at our news section and you'll see our point.
We have bellowed, brawled and beseeched for new legislation for the scrap metal industry and our reasons for doing it, aside from tackling the loathsome crime of metal theft were best practice – we have given best practice and offered 21st century scrap metal management for years but when you work in an industry where bad practice is rife, sometimes, the only thing you have left is your voice to make changes.

Read more ...