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.

Transitional arrangements for those already registered

To ensure you can operate as a scrap metal dealer you will need to submit a valid application with the correct documents and fee between 1 October 2013 and 15 October 2013.

Once we have received your valid application we will issue you a transitional licence that is valid until 1 December 2013. We will ensure, that if your application is successful, you will have your full licence by 1 December 2013.

You are able to operate with your transitional licence, but please note your transitional licence will only be issued providing you complete a valid application between 1 October 2013 and 15 October 2015.


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. Local authorities have the power to turn down unsuitable applicants. Unsuitability is based on a number of factors including any relevant criminal convictions.
  • Giving local authorities 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 (both detailed below).

Application fee

The application must be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

Assessing the suitability of the applicant

The council must be satisfied the applicant is a suitable person to carry on 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. Disclosure Scotland will usually be able to provide a certificate with the results of the disclosure application within 14 days.

The Councils 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 Wandsworth Council and a Waste Carriers Licence issued by the Environment Agency

What happens next?

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

Where the local authority 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 can I do if my 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 the Safety and Licensing Team

For help and advice on submitting an application or if you wish to make a complainant about a scrap metal dealer please contact:


Safety & Licensing Team
Wandsworth Council
Administration Department
Environmental Services, Public Health
Town Hall
Wandsworth High Street
SW18 2PU