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Scrap Metal

You need to register with the local council if you wish to carry on the business of a scrap metal dealer.

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

This Act repeals the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 and Motor Salvage Operators Regulation 2002 and introduces one operating licence from 1 October 2013. Local Authorities will be the main regulator of this new licence.

The new Act gives Local Authorities more powers of control, for example refusal of a licence or revocation of a licence if the dealer is considered 'unsuitable', or the operators are not abiding to the legislative requirements set out in their application. The Police and Local Authority now have powers of entry for inspection of scrap metal premises.

Main requirements of this new Act

  • Motor Salvage Operators are now included;
  • There is now a requirement for all metal dealers to complete appropriate applications and disclosures and satisfy their local authority that they are genuine traders;
  • All applicants of the licence must now apply for a Basic Disclosure Certificate. Applications can be made online through Disclosure Scotland. All named people on the application form must apply and provide us with a certificate; this would include the site manager and director;
  • All sellers of metal must provide ID at point of sale which is recorded and retained by the scrap metal dealer. This may be inspected by the Police and Local Authority at any time;
  • Cash must not be given as payment for scrap metals. Sellers must be paid by BACS or cheque (or another electronic traceable method). This will now apply to all collectors of scrap metal;
  • There will be two licences available: a site licence or a collector's licence. Please see the table at the bottom of this page for the cost of these licences.

Eligibility Criteria

  • A scrap metal dealer is defined as someone carrying 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 was bought
  • Scrap metal includes any old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material and any product, article or assembly which is made from or contains metal and is broken, worn out or regarded by its last holder as having reaches the end of its useful life
  • Businesses which consist of motor salvage also require a Scrap Metal Dealer's Licence. Motor salvage includes recovering salvageable parts from motor vehicles for re-use or sale and subsequently selling or disposing of the rest of the vehicle for scrap and/or buying written-off vehicles and repairing and reselling them.

Regulation Summary

You can view a summary of regulation relating to this licence for more information. There will be a public register of all scrap metal dealers maintained by the Environment Agency on their website.

The Act introduces the following requirements.

  • There will be two types of licence available: a site licence or a collectors licence;
  • Scrap metal dealers to satisfy their local authority that they are a legitimate trader;
  • All sellers of metal must provide verifiable ID at point of sale which is recorded and retained by the licensed dealer;
  • An offence for cash transactions will apply to all scrap metal dealers including 'mobile collectors' who conduct house to house collections.

Application Evaluation Process

There are two new licences both of which will be valid for 3 years from the date of issue.

Site Licence

  • A site licence will be required where a business is carried on as scrap metal dealer at the premises.
  • A site manager will be required to be named for each site
  • The licensee will then be permitted to operate from that site as a scrap metal dealer including transporting to and from those sites from any local authority area.

Collector's Licence

  • Authorises the licensee to operate as a mobile collectors in the area of the issuing local authority, permitting them to collect scrap as appropriate.
  • This includes commercial as well as domestic scrap metal
  • If a mobile collector operates within more than one local authority's district, a licence will re required for each authority in which (s)he operates

Fees and Charges

Application Forms

You can download and complete the application form for either a Site Licence or Collectors Licence from the Downloadable Documents section on the right.

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