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Scrap metal dealer licensing

Every scrap metal dealer must have a licence, and operating without one is a criminal offence. Due to changes to the law in 2013, it now includes motor salvage operators.

Man in PPE handling scrap metal
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Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

The act provides a licensing structure for:

  • dealers who operate from one or more sites in a licensing authority’s area, and
  • mobile collectors who operate in a licensing authority’s area.

Licences are granted for three years, but the licensing authority has the power to revoke in certain circumstances. The licensing authority is able to charge applicants, although these charges may not include any costs for enforcement of unlicensed operators.

We may refuse to grant a licence where the applicant is judged not to be a suitable person to operate as a scrap metal dealer. Supporting regulations set out relevant offences that must be taken into account when determining an application. We can consult anyone regarding an applicant’s suitability.

How to apply

Apply using the 'Apply for a scrap metal dealer licence' quick link above.

We also require a basic disclosure of criminal convictions (via the Disclosure and Barring Service) for all applicants, site managers and shadow directors. To apply for this please view the quick link above.

How much does a licence cost?

Our fees are updated each year, usually in April. The fees for scrap metal dealer applications are shown in our schedule of fees and charges, which is available on the following link:

Decision making

We will:

  • Consult the police, environmental crime team and licensing, plus any additional consultees considered necessary
  • Grant applications where all disclosures (as above) show the applicant and any site manager to be free from relevant convictions, and where there have been no relevant representations
  • Not grant tacit approval if an application has not been determined within a pre-determined time limit.