Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

On 1 October 2013, The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 was introduced. In order for anyone to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer they need a licence obtainable from their Council.

Trading without a licence is a criminal offence. There are two types of licence, one for a site and the other for a mobile collector. These licences will last for three years. If a person trades in scrap metal then the seller must provide a valid personal ID at the point of sale and no cash transactions are allowed.

Site Licence

A site licence can be issued by the Local Authority in whose area a scrap metal site is situated and will require all of the sites at which the licensee carries on the business as a scrap metal dealer within the Local Authority area to be duly licensed. In doing so, they will be permitted to operate from those sites as a scrap metal dealer, including transporting scrap metal to and from those sites from any Local Authority area. Licences when issued by the Council must be displayed on site.

Mobile Collector's Licence

A mobile collector's licence will authorise the licensee to operate as a mobile collector in the area of the issuing Local Authority, permitting them to collect any scrap metal as appropriate. The issued licence is required to be displayed so that its visible from the outside of the collector's vehicle.

The licence does not permit the collector to collect from any other Local Authority area; a separate licence would need to be obtained from each Local Authority in whose area the individual wished to collect in. A licence also does not authorise the licensee to carry on a business at a site within any area. There is no restriction as to the location where the collector may transport and sell their metals.

How to apply

See the application form and a document entitled 'Frequently Asked Questions' below.

Application checklist

  • All applicants must complete an application form.
  • The application form must be accompanied by the relevant fee.
  • All applicants must supply a Disclosure Baring Certificate (formerly called CRB). This certificate must be dated within three months of the application date.
  • Persons involved in a company as a director, partner or company secretary must also supply Disclosure Baring Certificates.
  • Applicants for collectors licences must provide a passport style photograph

The Home Office has produced some Further Guidance Notes (December 2013).

The Environment Agency maintains the national register for licensed scrap metal dealers.

For more information you can contact the environmental health team on 01483 743840 or via email