Environment Agency and eBay tackle online trade of illegal used vehicle parts

2nd November 2018

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Helen Manns

The Environment Agency has teamed up with eBay to tackle illegal car breakers who use the online platform to trade parts from unauthorised vehicle disposals. The partnership also aims to inform the public, who may unknowingly purchase these illegal parts.

Business sellers who display used vehicle parts for sale will receive a pop-up message highlighting that an environmental permit is required to carry out breakage of vehicles. Sellers will then be directed to the government website, where they can get more information.

Under UK law, all car breakers and traders of used vehicle parts must have an environmental permit. They must also know how to properly dismantle a vehicle and appropriately dispose of hazardous waste. Avoiding appropriate car breaking undercuts legitimate operators and creates an opportunity for illegal waste disposal.

Online sellers of used vehicle parts who comply with the law and have a permit for vehicle breaking operations are advised to display their permit number, or the name of the sites where they source the parts they are selling.

The partnership has resulted in a spike in permit applications to take businesses into legal status.

Sellers who do not display their environmental permit on eBay for trading vehicle parts will be directly contacted by the Environment Agency, which will provide guidance on environmental permitting and warnings about illegal trade activities.

Sellers who do not respond to the Environment Agency’s notice will have their trading account suspended or removed from eBay. If sellers who continue to trade, the Environment Agency will take further steps, including reporting them to the police and HMRC as well as making a site visit.

Image credit: iStock

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