The MMTA is delighted to announce that we have recently joined the Non-ferrous Alliance (NFA) as part of our goal to increase the MMTA’s interconnectivity with relevant industry associations and networks. With its focus specifically on UK industry, the NFA has an important role, and it is especially important since the UK’s recent vote to leave the EU. Through our NFA membership, the MMTA will be able to be at the heart of discussions between the UK Government and industry, not only for the benefit of UK members, but also to ensure that members across Europe and in other parts of the world are aware of how changes in the UK may impact their businesses.
These days companies are very focussed on keeping their business going on a commercially viable basis. Few have the free internal manpower and skills resources to keep a finger on the pulse of regulatory activity and to establish and maintain relationships with the many government agencies. It is essential for industry operators to understand and comply with changes in the regulatory activity that may affect their customers and hence the market.
NFA regularly reviews consultations from DEFRA, Environment Agency, HSE, DECC (Department of Energy & Climate Change) and BIS (Business Industry & Skills) and generates responses to those consultations most relevant to the non-ferrous metals sector. Most recently, NFA contributed to the EU Non-Ferrous Metals BREF (Best Practice Reference Note and Best Available Technology).
Industry Trade Bodies
In addition to liaising with Eurometaux, the non-ferrous metals industry body for the EU, NFA liaises with other UK industry trade bodies to establish common positions, where possible, in critical negotiations with DEFRA, Environment Agency, HSE and other Government bodies. NFA has contacts with Surface Engineering Association, Chemical Industry Association, Chemical Business Association, British Metals Recycling Association, British Coatings Federation and others on major issues.
The referendum decision of June 23rd 2016 taken up by the UK Government for the UK to leave the EU will very obviously change both the internal and external influences on the regulatory and commercial landscape. At this stage, it is impossible to predict accurately how these influences will affect industries in the UK. Government, through DEFRA and the other major agencies, are currently canvassing industry trade associations for input on ‘BREXIT’, in order to help guide the UK Government in developing its negotiating strategy. NFA has already been involved in a number of relevant meetings and workshops. It is understood that though the first steps may be across the board adoption of EU origin legislation in a UK legislative base, there is a clear opportunity to subsequently develop a more risk based system of regulatory control without compromising human health and the environment. NFA is already opening dialogue along these lines and working in conjunction with other trade associations.
NFA provides an effective focal point for the non-ferrous metals industry interests in the UK to be represented in Government interfaces, and the MMTA is delighted to be part of the alliance at this critical time of change.