Peers debated the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill at second reading on 30 November 2012.
The private members' bill seeks to give local authorities powers to licence scrap metal dealers and carry out inspections. Local authorities would be able to refuse or revoke a licence from an unsuitable dealer.
Local authorities would also be able to charge fees for licensing to help cover costs.
New clauses inserted by the government would require a scrap metal dealer to clearly display their licence to operate and to produce proof of metals disposed of, as well as metals received.
The bill was introduced into the House of Commons by the Conservative MP Richard Ottaway, who was claimed that scrap metal theft costs the UK economy at least £750m a year.
It is designed to tackle what Mr Ottaway calls "outdated legislation", in the Scrap Metal Dealer's Act 1964.
Its passage through the House of Lords is being steered by the Conservative peer and former MP, Baroness Browning.