Scrap metal dealers licence

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 replaces the

  • Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964; and
  • Part 1 of the Vehicle (Crime) Act 2001

Any person collecting, buying or selling scrap metal requires a Scrap Metal Dealers licence issued by the local authority. This includes motor salvage operators.

Any persons who carry out business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence may be liable on conviction to an unlimited fine.


There are two types of licences, site and collectors. The licence lasts for three years.

A site licence

Allows a scrap metal dealer to carry on business from a site in a local authority area. A site licence allows the dealer to collect and bring back to site (from any location). There is a requirement that a site manager be named for each site licensed.

A collectors licence

Allows a scrap metal dealer to carry on business in a local authority area as a mobile collector. This licence covers dealers who do not have a site and regularly collect through door-to-door collections. The dealer requires a separate licence for each local authority area they operate in. This includes commercial as well as domestic scrap metal. There is no restriction as to the location where the collector can transport and sell their metal.

Key measure

These include:

  • Requiring all individuals and businesses to complete an enhanced application process to obtain a scrap metal dealers licence. We have the power to turn down unsuitable applicants. Unsuitability is based on a number of factors including any relevant criminal convictions.
  • Giving us the power to revoke a licence.
  • Requiring all sellers of metal to provide personal identification at the point of sale, which is then recorded by the scrap metal dealer.
  • Extending the offence of buying metal with cash to mobile scrap metal collectors.
  • New powers for the police and local authorities to enter and inspect sites.
  • Creating a central public register, hosted by the Environment Agency, of all individuals and businesses licensed as scrap metal dealers.
  • Widening the definition of a scrap metal dealer to include motor salvage operators.

Application form

An application form will need to be completed and submitted along with an application fee and a basic criminal record disclosure.


The application must be accompanied by the fee.

Assessing the suitability of the applicant

We must be satisfied the applicant is a suitable person to carry out business as a scrap metal dealer. This includes; in the case of a partnership, each of the partners, and in the case of a company, each director, company secretary and shadow director.

As part of the application process each applicant must provide a Basic Disclosure certificate with the application form. You can apply online for the Basic Disclosure certificate, or by completing a form, and paying a fee of £25. A certificate with the results of the disclosure application will usually be issued within 14 days.

We shall also carry out checks with the Environment Agency and other local authorities where an applicant currently trades.

Waste Carriers Licence

A licence under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 does not replace the Waste Carrier's Licence. To collect scrap metal in the London Borough of Wandsworth you will be required to hold a licence issued by us and a Waste Carriers Licence issued by the Environment Agency.

What happens next

If no representations are received, the application must be granted.

Where we propose to;

  • refuse an application, or
  • revoke or vary a licence

You will be asked to submit a representation about the proposal. This representation will be considered before a final decision is made.

What to do if your application is refused

If your application is refused you have the right of appeal within 21 days. Appeals should be made to:

South Western Magistrates' Court
176a Lavender Hill
SW11 1JU

Contact us

You can contact us for help and advice on submitting an application. 


If you want to make a complaint about a scrap metal dealer, you can report it online.