Scrap Metal Dealers

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

The recent growth of metal theft has had a significant impact on communities, businesses and local authorities alike. Such thefts have seen communications and the train networks disrupted, historic buildings, churches etc. desecrated, and people's safety put at risk with inspection covers, drainage covers and road signage being stolen. The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 has been created to help prevent some of the issues surrounding the sale, collection, storage and disposal of scrap metal. This Act repeals the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 and Part 1 of the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001, creating a revised regulatory regime for the scrap metal recycling and vehicle dismantling industries. The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 applies in England and Wales and was commenced on 1 October 2013.

The new Act places the requirement on all scrap dealers to obtain a new licence to operate as a scrap metal dealer, either a licence for operating from a site, therefore requiring a site licence, or as a mobile collector requiring a Collector's Licence. See guidance on

What is a Site Licence?

A site licence is required for all sites at which the licensee carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer within the authority area. It also requires a site manager to be named for each site. They will be permitted to operate from those sites as a scrap metal dealer, including transporting scrap metal to and from those sites from any local authority area.

What is a Collector's Licence?

A collector's licence authorises the licensee to operate as a mobile collector in the area of the issuing local authority, permitting them to collect any scrap metal from door to door without an appointment. This includes commercial as well as domestic scrap metal. A collector's licence does not permit the collector to collect from any other local authority area (a separate licence should be obtained from each local authority area from which the individual wishes to collect or sell scrap metal). A collector's licence does not authorise the licensee to carry on a business at a site within any area. Should a collector wish to use a fixed site, they would need to obtain a site licence from the local authority.

Tax Conditionality  -  scrap metal licence applications

The government is putting in place new tax requirements for applications to certain licences from 4 April 2022. This is supported by a new digital service, being developed by HMRC. It helps people in the scrap metal industry to complete a new tax check.

Most people are registered to pay tax and this is about ensuring everyone pays the tax they should, creating a level playing field for the compliant majority. HMRC are working with industry bodies to make this as straightforward as possible. The check should take a few minutes every few years and is simply to confirm that someone is appropriately registered for tax.

You’ll need to complete a tax check when you renew your licence as a:

  • Scrap metal sit elicence
  • Scrap metal collector

Please refer to the Tax Check Factsheet so you understand what is required as this will apply to all renewals and new applicants. 

If you have any further questions, please find more information at Changes for taxi, private hire or scrap metal licence applications from April 2022 or contact the Licensing Team.

Do I need a licence to transport scrap metal?

If you transport scrap metal you will in most cases require a Waste Carriers Licence from the Environment Agency.

The following businesses will be included in the new regulatory regime:

  • Scrap metal dealers (who operate from a site in the Borough)

  •  Mobile collectors (who do not operate from a site but collect in the Borough)

  •  Motor salvage operators (who operate from a site in the Borough), and

  • All other businesses who buy or sell scrap metal 'in the course of their business – this does not include businesses who buy or sell scrap as the occasional result of their primary business (e.g. pawnbrokers).


Scrap Metal Licence Fees

  • Site Licence (for a three year period) - £320.00

  • Collector's Licence (for a three year period) - £90.00

  • Change of detail (change of name or address or change of site address) - £32.00

  • Change of Site Manager for a Site Licence - £32.00

  • To  change a licence from a collector to a site or from a site to a collector - contact licensing office.


The Application Process

Apply online

Apply online for a licence as a scrap metal dealer.

2) Obtain a Basic Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure & Barring Service (this is a criminal records check). Most basic checks will be processed within 14 days, and a basic check will cost £25. This certificate is only valid for  three months so please ensure that you submit it to the council with your application and other required documents within this time frame or you may be asked to apply for a new check. Please see the link below for details of the online service.

 Disclosure & Barring Service - Basic Check

 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled3) Enclose the correct fee with the application.

 4) In summary: send back to the Council:

  • The completed application form - paper applications can be obtained from the licensing section
  • The basic disclosure certificate from Disclosure Scotland
  • The correct fee for either a Site licence or Collectors’ licence

5) Please be aware that as a scrap metal dealer you must  in most cases be registered as a Waste Carrier with the Environment Agency.

Other Application Forms

  1. Application for a change of details

  2. Application to vary a site licence in respect of the site manager

  3. Application to vary a licence from a site/collector licence to a site /collectors licence

 Please contact the licensing section if you have any further queries regarding this new legislation.

Eligibility Criteria

A scrap metal dealer shall be classed as carrying on a business in the local authority area if any of the following apply:

  • Carries 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, or

  • Carries on business as a motor salvage operator (in so far as that does not fall within the definition above).


Regulation Summary

See a summary of the regulation relating to this licence in the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

Applicants must provide the following:

  • The full name, date of birth and usual place of residence of an individual applicant (including mobile collectors), anyone proposed as a site manager for a site, and every partner where a partnership is applying for a licence.

  • The company name, registered number and registered office address where the company is the applicant.

  • Any proposed trading name for the business.

  • The telephone number and email address (if any) of the applicant.

  • Where it is a site licence, the address of each proposed site to be included in the licence.

  • The address of any site in another Council area where the applicant already carries on a business or proposes to do so.

  • Details of any relevant environmental permit or registration held by the applicant.

  • Details of any other scrap metal licences issued to the applicant within the last three years before making the application.

  • Details of bank account(s) to be used for cashless transactions where a licensee operates multiple sites different bank accounts may be used.

  • Details of any relevant conviction or enforcement action that relates to the applicant.

The registered dealer must notify Erewash Borough Council of any changes to these details or if they cease to be a scrap metal dealer.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact us. You can do this online if you applied through then UK Welcomes Service or use the contact details below.

Tell us about about any variation to your licence.

Failed Application Redress

Please contact the Local Authority in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence, or the the renewal of a licence, or the licence is revoked, can appeal to a local Magistrates court.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to a local Magistrates court.

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, advice is available at

From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Trade Association websites:

British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) website
International Aluminium Institute website
metal bulletin website

Further Information

If you require any further information or guidance regarding a scrap metal licence please contact the Licensing Department using the contact details below:

Licensing Office, Civic Centre, Derby Road
Long Eaton, Derbyshire  
NG10 1HU

Call: 0115 907 2244 ext. 3124

Fax: 01159071121
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.