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Scrap Metal Dealer

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 received Royal Assent on 28 February 2013, and replaces the previous registration requirements for scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators from 1 October 2013. After that date, applications must be made for site licences and mobile dealer's licences under the new legislation.

Those registered under the previous legislation before 1 October 2013 had until 15 October 2013 to submit an application for a new licence under the legislation, in order to remain licensed pending the determination of that application.

The new legislation will be fully in force from 1 December 2013.

In summary, the new legislation provides the following:

  • Scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators will both be "scrap metal dealers"
  • An enhanced licence application process, including consultation with the police and Environment Agency.
  • There will be two categories of licence:
    • A site licence (may be for multiple sites within the council's area)
    • 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 mobile collector's licence (separate licences are required for each council area where collections take place)
  • A mobile collector must not occupy a site for the purposes of their scrap metal business, but may collect scrap metal without prior arrangement
  • Power for the council to refuse or revoke licence or impose conditions where appropriate, subject to the right to make representations before refusal, revocation or the imposition of conditions (these are limited to times of operation and a requirement that metal will be kept in its original form for minimum of 72 hours)
  • The licence must be displayed at site or on mobile collector's vehicle where it can be read by the public
  • Sellers must produce prescribed personal ID (photo ID) and proof of address at the point of sale - the dealer must keep a record of the documents produced
  • There may be no cash purchases of scrap metal in any circumstances - payment must be by cheque or electronic transfer of funds
  • The Police and the council will have powers to inspect sites and records of scrap metal transactions
  • There will be a central on-line register of licences published by the Environment Agency
  • Application fees are set by each council
  • Closure Notice (from police or council) for unlicensed sites; Closure Orders (via Magistrates' Court) if still used as such after seven days.
  • There will be Statutory Guidance from the Home Office to accompany the legislation.


The Scrap Metal Dealer's Act 2013 replaces the Scrap Metal Dealers' Act 1964 and part 1 of the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 (motor salvage operators).

In addition to a licence under the 2013 Act, the following may be required:

  • a waste management licence or a hazardous waste licence from the Environment Agency
  • registration of the business with the Health and Safety Executive
  • planning permission for the use of any premises in connection with the business

To proceed with an application, please discuss with a Licensing Officer on 023 9254 5505.

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