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Bodyshop environmental costs to soar warns RMIF

Environmental permit charges for bodyshops are set to soar up to £332 next year in comparison to the current £138, the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) has warned businesses.

The permits are issued by local authorities, allowing businesses to store, use, and dispose of potentially hazardous substances.

The RMIF is challenging the planned increases, proposed by the Department for the Envrionment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the administrative body, in a recent consultation. Under the proposed changes, The initial application fee will rise as follows:

Mike Owen, head of the RMIF bodyshop division, said: "Rather than increase the charges DEFRA should reduce the bureaucracy, slim down the guidance and retain the reduced charges structure.

"The RMIF has also challenged the entrenched assumption that it takes as long to deal with a new application for a permit is the same as it does to deal with a subsequent annual renewal inspection, and that these activities should cost the same."

According to Owen, the increases are intended to satisfy private sector providers that are sub-contracted to deal with permit applications.

"Some local authorities are farming out the task of dealing with bodyshop permit applications and these private sector providers of regulatory services find it unprofitable to carry out the work.

"The charges for waste oil burners and vapour recovery installations are proposed to have only the incremental increases to cover inflation," added Owen.

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