Scrap metal licence

How to apply for a scrap metal licence

Summary of licences

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (legislation.gov.uk) states that no person may carry on business as a scrap metal dealer unless authorised by a licence under this act.

A person carries on business as a scrap metal dealer if one of the following applies:

  • They carry on 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
  • They carry on business as a motor salvage operator

Scrap metal includes:

  • Any old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material
  • 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

Motor salvage is any of the below:

  • Wholly or in part recovering salvageable parts from motor vehicles for reuse or resale before selling the rest of the vehicle for scrap
  • Wholly or mainly buying written off vehicles, then repairing and selling them off
  • Wholly or mainly buying or selling motor vehicles for the purpose of salvaging parts from them or repairing them and selling them off

If your business involves any of the above you will require a scrap metal dealers licence.

Types of licence

Scrap metal licences are to be issued by the local authority.

A licence must be one of the two following types:

  • Site licence
  • Collectors licence

Site licence

A site licence authorises the licensee to carry on business at any site in a local council area which is identified in the licence.

This licence allows the licensee to transport scrap metal to and from their site from any local council area

Collectors licence 

A collectors licence authorises the licensee to carry on business as a mobile collector in a specific local council area.

A person may hold more than one licence issued by different local councils, but may not hold more than one licence issued by any one council.

To operate as a collector in several different local council areas, you will have to obtain a separate licence from each council.

A collector’s licence does not authorise the licensee to operate a site.

It should be noted that you cannot hold both a site and a collector’s licence in the same local council area.

Additional requirements

In addition to a site or collectors licence, you may need to obtain the following:

  • A waste management licence or hazardous waste licence from the Environment Agency
  • Registration of the business with the Health & Safety Executive
  • Planning permission for the use of any premises in connection with the business

Trade associations

For more information or a copy of the application form, please contact us.