Scrap metal dealers

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 replaces the previous registration requirements for scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators. From 1 October 2013, applications have to be made for site licences and mobile collectors licences under the new legislation.

The 2013 Act defines a scrap metal dealer as any person who carries on a business which consists wholly or in part of buying or selling scrap metal. Whether or not the metal is sold in the form in which it is bought. There are two types of licence; a Site Licence and a Collectors Licence. Both are valid for a period of three years.

  • A site is any place occupied for the purposes of the scrap metal dealer's business. A site licence holder may collect scrap metal, but only by prior arrangement. A site licence may be for multiple sites within the council's area.
  • A mobile collector must not occupy a site for the purposes of their scrap metal business. They can collect scrap metal without prior arrangement. Separate licences are required for each council area where collections take place.

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

Full details of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

Further guidance on the changes can be found at the bottom of this page. Please contact the Licensing Team if you have any further questions. Applicants are advised to seek their own independent legal advice before making application for a licence.

Application evaluation process

We cannot issue a licence unless we are satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer. We consider any relevant information, including whether the applicant or site manager has been convicted of a relevant offence. A list of offences under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 can be found within the application form available below.

Basic Disclosure
Applicants must supply a basic criminal record certificate at the time of application that is less than three months old. A basic disclosure certificate only contains details of any unspent convictions as of the date the certificate is issued. A basic criminal record certificate can be applied for online on the GOV.UK website . Applications will not be considered unless accompanied by the disclosure certificate.

In deciding an application, we may consult other persons regarding the suitability of an applicant which may include:

  • any other local authority
  • the environment agency
  • the natural resources body for Wales
  • the Police.

Making an application

Online application
You can apply for a Scrap Metal Dealers Licence online through the UK Business Link website. You must complete the full application process online including payment. You then need to upload the completed application form and attachments to the online system. Further guidance on the online application procedure can be found on the EU Services Directive page.

Make an online application for a Scrap Metal Dealers Licence on the GOV.UK website

Make an online application to vary your Scrap Metal Dealers Licence on the GOV.UK website

The fees for licence applications can be viewed under Other licences on the licence fees page

When should I expect a decision?

Existing registered scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators had to make a new application before 15 October 2013. This automatically extended their existing registration until 1 December 2013. If an application was not received by 15 October 2013 then the existing registration ceased and the dealer is unlicensed.


Failed Application Redress
If we propose to refuse an application you will be notified with our reasons for refusal. If you wish to make a representation against the decision, you will be able to make an oral representation. Appeals against a decision following representations must be made to the Magistrates Court within 21 days.

Please contact the Licensing Team if you have information or concerns about an unlicensed Scrap Metal Dealer. Also contact us if you have concerns regarding the compliance of a licensed dealer with the requirements of the Act.

Other Redress
If you are not happy about issues such as noise or pollution please contact the Environmental Health Team at

Contact details

Licensing Team

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