Scrap metal dealers

New legislation for scrap metal dealers

The Scrap Metal Dealers’ Act 2013 rescinds previous certificates of registration under the Scrap Metal Dealers’ Act 1964 and the Motor Salvage Operators Regulations 2002.

Summary of the changes

The new legislation extends the cashless trading provisions of the Scrap Metal Dealers’ Act 1964 to cover motor vehicle dismantlers and mobile collectors (i.e. persons described in the 1964 Act as “itinerant collectors”).  It also introduces a requirement for scrap metal dealers to check and record evidence of the identity of persons from whom they receive scrap metal. 

The changes include a new requirement for scrap metal dealers to obtain licences from the local authority they operate in, replacing the previous registrations.  Licences will be issued only after we undertake checks with the Police regarding the individuals involved in the business. 

Other changes include modernizing record-keeping requirements, creation of a national register of scrap metal dealers (to be held by the Environment Agency), widening the definition of metals that can be considered scrap, and making it easier for a local authority or police officer to enter and inspect an unlicensed site.


If a local authority determines that an applicant (or any site manager, director, company secretary or shadow director) is not a suitable person they may refuse an application (or revoke an existing licence). 


Two types of licence are available: a site licence or a collector’s licence; both will be valid for 3-years. 

Site licence.  A site licence allows the licensee to operate at any site that is specified in the licence that lies in the local authority’s area.  A copy of the licence must be displayed in a prominent place in an area accessible to the public. 

Collector’s licence.  A collector’s licence authorises the licensee to operate as a mobile collector, but only in the licensing local authority’s area.  If a mobile collector wishes to collect in an area covered by more than one local authority he must hold a licence from each authority.  A copy of the collector’s licence must be displayed on any vehicle that is being used in the course of the dealer’s business.

Application process

For application forms and relevant guidance notes (on the same document), see the downloads section of this page.

The council fees for applications are as follows:

  • Site - new application: £571.00
  • Site - renewal: £520.00
  • Mobile collector - new application: £353.00
  • Mobile collector - renewal: £301.00 

If you are not currently licensed by the council, but should be, please get in touch with the Environmental Protection team (see contact details on this page) or use our online form.

Last reviewed: 09 - 04 - 2018

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