Scrap Metal Dealers
What do I need to know?
The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 replaces the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 and the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 and Motor Salvage Operators Regulations 2002 from 1st October 2013, and Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 Supplementary guidance
Do I need a licence to operate as a Scrap Metal dealer?
Yes. You cannot carry on a business as a Scrap Metal Dealer unless authorised by a Licence issued under the Act.
A person who operates as a Scrap Metal Dealer in breach of this is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
What is the definition of a Scrap Metal Dealer?
A scrap metal dealer is someone who:
- Has a business which consists wholly or partly in buying or selling scrap metal, whether or not the metal is sold in the form in which it was bought, or
- Has a business as a Motor Salvage Operator (so far as that does not fall within paragraph above)
What is the definition of Scrap Metal?
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 reached the end of its useful life.
The following are NOT regarded as scrap metal:
- and any alloy of which 2 per cent or more by weight is attributable to gold or silver.
Are there different types of licence available?
There are two types of Licence, one for a site and the other for a mobile collector (for those carrying on business otherwise than at a site).
A Site Licence permits you to buy and sell scrap metal from a fixed location within the Council area. Each site will have a nominated Site Manager included on the Licence.
A Collector's Licence permits you to travel within the Council area to collect scrap metal. You may not take this metal back to a site that you run within the Council area in order to sell it.
You may only apply for one type of Licence in each Council area, but you can apply to include multiple sites in that area on the one Licence.
How do I apply?
You must complete a Scrap Metal Dealers Application Form.
What else do I have to do?
As part of the application process you will have to provide a Basic Disclosure Certificate (external link).
This is to enable us to determine whether or not any person(s) proposed have a relevant conviction. Refusing to provide a Basic Disclosure certificate would mean that the we could decline to proceed with your application.
Any Certificate produced should not be more than three months old. The Certificate will be returned to you once the application has been processed.
The Act states that we cannot issue a Licence unless we are satisfied that you are a suitable person to carry on the business of a Scrap Metal Dealer.
In the case of a partnership this means assessing the suitability of each of the partners in the partnership. In the case of a company, it means assessing the suitability of any directors, company secretaries or shadow directors.
In assessing your suitability, we can consider any information we think is relevant. Examples of this could be:
- have you been operating your business for some time without planning permission for your site
- have you failed to register with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) under the Data Protection Act, could be factors that are considered.
Do I have to pay?
Yes. The current fees are below.
Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 - Fees
New and renewal applications (3year licence)
-additional named site on Site Licence (per site
Variation to existing licences
Inconsequential administrative changes or replacement licence
Site and Collectors' Licences
What happens if the Council proposes to refuse my Licence?
We will notify you that we are proposing to refuse your application. You will be given 21 days in which to make representations against this. Should you wish to make oral representations, the Licensing Committee will convene to hear these.
Should the Committee formally refuse your Licence, you may then appeal to the Magistrates' Court within 21 days if you wish.
How long does the Licence last for?
The Licence lasts for 3 years and then lapses. You then have to renew your Licence.
What happens if circumstances change once I've been granted a Licence?
Under the Act, you are required to notify us of any changes which would affect the accuracy of the information you provided when making your original application. This has to be within 28 days of the changes occurring. If any changes occur, you need to apply to vary your Licence. A fee is payable for this procedure.
The options for variation are as follows:
- Change of Licence Holder's details (name or address)
- Change from a Site Licence to a Collector's Licence or vice versa
- Changes to the sites licensed (adding, removing or changing details)
- Change of Site Managers
Should you cease to carry on the business of a Scrap Metal Dealer, you must also inform the Council of that fact within 28 days.
Do I need to display my Licence?
Yes. If you have a Site Licence you must ensure that a copy is displayed at each site identified in the Licence in a prominent place in an area accessible to the public.
If you have a Collector's Licence you must ensure that a copy is displayed on any vehicle that is being used in the course of your business in a manner which enables it to be easily read by a person outside the vehicle.
Can I pay in cash for Scrap?
No. It is an offence under the Act to pay cash for scrap metal. You can only pay via the methods detailed below:
- by a cheque which is not transferable, or
- by an electronic transfer of funds (authorised by credit or debit card or otherwise).
The Secretary of State may amend these provisions to permit other methods of payment in which case these Notes of Guidance will be updated accordingly.
What records am I required to keep?
A Scrap Metal Dealer must record the following information:
- the description of the metal, including its type (or types if mixed), form, condition, weight and any marks identifying previous owners or other distinguishing features
- the date and time of its receipt
- if the metal is delivered in or on a vehicle, the registration mark of the vehicle
- if the metal is received from a person, the full name and address of that person
- if the dealer pays for the metal, the full name of the person who makes the payment acting for the dealer.
If the dealer receives the metal from a person, the dealer must keep a copy of any document which the dealer uses to verify the name or address of that person.
If the dealer pays for the metal by cheque, the dealer must keep a copy of the cheque.
If the dealer pays for the metal by electronic transfer:
- the dealer must keep the receipt identifying the transfer
- if no receipt identifying the transfer was obtained, the dealer must record particulars identifying the transfer.
If a dealer disposes of scrap metal under a Site Licence they must record the following information:
- the description of the metal, including its type (or types if mixed), form and weight
- the date and time of its disposal
- if the disposal is to another person, the full name and address of that person
- if the dealer receives payment for the metal (whether by way of sale or exchange), the price or other consideration received
If a dealer disposes of scrap metal under a Collector's Licence, they must record the following information:
- the date and time of the disposal
- if the disposal is to another person, the full name and address of that person.
How long do I have to keep the information for?
The dealer must keep the information and other records mentioned above for a period of 3 years beginning with the day on which the metal is received or (as the case may be) disposed of.
A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard