Enforcement of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

Police and council enforcement powers

Scrap metal dealers collectors licence


The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 gave councils the responsibility for the licensing of scrap metal dealers and collectors, as well as the enforcement of the licensing regime, alongside the police.


Local authorities are responsible for the enforcement and inspection of licensed sites.

The police are responsible for enforcement against unlicensed sites and dealing with any identified criminal activity.

More information is available at Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (legislation.gov.uk)

Mobile collectors

As the enforcement powers in the act focus on activities on scrap metal sites, licensed or unlicensed, we are limited to checking that licences are correctly displayed in the vehicles of mobile collectors. All collectors licensed by us are issued with an internal badge which must be displayed in the windscreen of their vehicle.

Police officers have more scope to stop, search and inspect vehicles of mobile collectors, not only under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, but also under wider considerations such as whether the vehicle is roadworthy, in possession of vehicle insurance and currently registered for road tax.

Reporting an unlicensed collector

If you see a mobile scrap collector who you believe is unlicensed, telephone the police on the non-emergency number of 101. 

You will need to give the details of the vehicle, its make, colour, vehicle registration number, and any trading name it may have written on it.

Last updated: ‎25‎/‎07‎/‎2023‎ ‎12‎:02