Benefits of membership

UK Government's preferred interface with industry is to keep the connection points to the minimum, to work via trade associations. This puts the onus on the industry focal point to communicate downstream with companies operating in the same sector.

These days most companies are very committed to keeping their business going on a commercially viable basis, few have the free manpower and skills 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 any industry operator to understand and comply with his permit conditions.

What is also important is for industry to interact with Government in the build up to new legislation that gives rise to these permit conditions. Virtually all now originates in the EU Commission and EU based trade associations have a key part in this process however the individual Member States and their civil servants plus national politicians also have a vital role in the development of regulatory proposals and then turning these into EU Directives. So UK trade associations and the relationship with UK Government is critical in this process.

The Non-Ferrous Alliance has a seat on key DEFRA and Environment Agency committees and working groups. Amongst these are the DEFRA Chemical Stakeholders Forum, Industry Sounding Board and Industry Fora for A1 and A2 and Part B status processes respectively, Environment Agency Charges Group that gives access to the EA Directors.

The NFA reviews consultations from DEFRA and the Environment Agency and where relevant prepares draft responses for submission.

In addition to liaising with Eurometaux, the non ferrous industry body for the EU, NFA liaises with other UK trade associations in order to establish common positions and have greater power in critical negotiations with DEFRA, EA and other Government bodies.  NFA interacts with the Surface Engineering Association, UK Steel, Chemical Industry Association, Confederation of Paper Industries, Mineral Products Association and others in major issues.

NFA has an active environment committee that in addition to its own meetings has twice yearly liaison meetings with Environment Agency. Here arising issues and soundings are made by both parties

As a recent example NFA successfully negotiated with Environment Agency to rethink its mandatory obligations under Resource Efficiency Reporting that would have seriously compromised operators by revealing sensitive data.  BFA led other industry associations and achieved a satisfactory outcome that had not previously been thought possible by other endeavours.

The chemical industry has the Chemical Industries Association or CIA, the steel industry has UK Steel, the electroplaters have Surface Engineering Association, the non-ferrous metals industry in the UK has the Non Ferrous Alliance.


March 2012