Scrap metal dealers registration

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 replaced the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 and the Motor Salvage Operators Regulations 2002 from 1 October 2013.

Provisions of the new Act include the following: 

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  • The requirement for 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 dealer;
  • A cashless offence will apply to all scrap metal dealers including ‘mobile/itinerant collectors’ who conduct house to house collections;
  • There will be two types of licence available: a site licence or a collector's licence;
  • There will be a single national publicly available register of all scrap metal dealers.

There are two types of licence:

  • A site licence allows you to operate a site and collect any scrap relevant to that site.
  • A collector’s licence will allow you to collect scrap only within the authority area that it was issued. You will need to apply for collector’s licences from separate authorities should you wish to operate in more than one Council area.

Any persons who carry out business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence may be liable on conviction to maximum fine of £5,000

Under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 a licence will not be issued unless the Council are satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer. In the case of a partnership this means assessing the suitability of each of the partners in the partnership, while in the case of a company it means assessing the suitability of any directors, company secretaries or shadow directors.

An application needs to be made for your licence and a fee will be payable to the Council. You will also need to submit a basic criminal record disclosure certificate no older than 3 months old as part of the application process along with relevant documents as outlined in the notes attached to the application form.

There is a comprehensive range of business regulatory support services available to help and advise businesses to be more successful and compliant.

Please note these licences do not replace the Waste Carrier’s Licence. To collect scrap in Cornwall you will be required to hold a licence issued by the relevant Council and a Waste Carriers Licence issued by the Environment Agency.

Please view the current licensing fees and charges to find out how much you will need to pay.

Tacit consent does not apply to scrap metal dealer registrations in the interests of public safety.  This means that you must wait for the Council to determine the application before any scrap metal activities can take place.

Please contact  licensing services if you have a complaint about an application or registration.

If you have a problem with a scrap metal dealer, we recommend you contact the dealer directly to try to resolve the dispute.  If this is not successful then licensing services may be able to help or have a look on the Citizens Advice consumer service website, or contact the UK European Consumer Centre if you live outside the UK.