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Scrap metal dealers

Introduction

In order to run a scrap metal business you must have the appropriate licence to do so. There are two types of licence:

Site licence

A site licence authorises the licence holder to carry on business at any site in the authority's area which is identified on the licence. All the sites where the applicant carries on business as a scrap metal dealer have to be identified and a site manager has to be appointed for each site.                                            

This licence allows the holder to transport scrap metal to and from those sites from any local authority area.

A site is the place where scrap metal is bought and sold, even if it isn't the place where the scrap metal is stored. So if you own a number of sites in St Helens where you buy or sell scrap metal, each site will need to be included on your application. If you buy scrap metal door to door, and do not have a place where you buy or sell the metal then you will need a collector's licence instead.

Mobile collector's licence

A collector's licence authorises the licence holder to carry on business as a mobile collector in the authority's area. A mobile collector is a person who:                                                                                             

  • Carries on business as a scrap metal dealer otherwise than at a site.
  • Regularly engages, in the course of that business, in collecting waste materials and old, broken, worn out or defaced articles by means of visits from door to door

This allows the licence holder to operate as a collector in the area of the issuing local authority. It does not allow the collector to operate in any other local authority area, so a separate licence has to be obtained from each council the collector wishes to operate in. The licence does not authorise the holder to operate a site where scrap metal is bought and sold. To do so you will need a site licence.

    How to apply and fees

    To apply for a scrap metal site or mobile collector's licence, you will need to complete the  application form (PDF) [100KB] (opens new window) and return it along with the following documentation:

    • A basic disclosure from the GOV.UK website. This should be dated no longer than one calendar month before the application.
    • A passport or driver's licence
    • A signed passport photograph (for mobile collector's licences only)
    • If you are not a UK national you must provide us with a Home Office check code in order for us to check your right to work status.
    Scrap metal dealers' fees
    DescriptionFeeVAT
    Site licence (new and renewal)£450N/A
    Additional sites (per site) (new and renewal)£400N/A
    Mobile collector's licence (new and renewal)£240N/A
    Site licence variation£235N/A
    Mobile collector's licence variation£210N/A
    Amended licence£45N/A
    Copy of licence£15 -£20£2 - £3


    An applicant for a licence must be suitable and the local authority, when determining suitability, can have regard to:

    • Whether the applicant or any site manager has been convicted of any relevant offence. Relevant offences are detailed in the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (Prescribed Relevant Offences and Relevant Enforcement Action) Regulations 2013).
    • Whether the applicant or any site manager has been the subject of any relevant enforcement action.
    • Any previous refusal for issue or renewal of a scrap metal licence. 
    • Any previous refusal for an environmental permit or registration. 
    • Any previous revocation of a scrap metal licence. 
    • Whether the applicant has demonstrated that there will be adequate procedures to comply with the Act.

    The same considerations also apply to any director or company secretary of a company if the applicant is not an individual.

    Tacit consent does not apply to these licence types.

    What records you are required to keep

    The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 introduces the requirement for scrap metal dealers to record information about the receipt and disposal of metal for a period of three years.

    If a scrap metal dealer receives any scrap metal in the course of a dealer's business, the dealer must record the following information:

    • the description of the metal, including its type (or types if mixed), form, condition, weight and any marks identifying previous owners or other distinguishing features;
    • the date and time of its receipt; 
    • if the metal is delivered in or on a vehicle, the registration mark of the vehicle; 
    • if the metal is received from a person, the full name and address of that person; 
    • if the dealer pays for the metal, the full name of the person who makes the payment acting for the dealer; 
    • if the dealer receives the metal from a person, the dealer must keep a copy of any document which the dealer uses to verify the name or address of that person; 
    • if the dealer pays for the metal by cheque, the dealer must keep a copy of the cheque; and 
    • if the dealer pays for the metal by electronic transfer the dealer must keep the receipt identifying the transfer, or if no receipt identifying the transfer was obtained, the dealer must record particulars identifying the transfer.

    A scrap metal dealer must also keep the following records about the disposal of metal. For these purposes, metal is disposed of whether or not it is in the same form in which it was received; and whether or not the disposal is to another person; and whether or not the metal is dispatched from a site.

    Where the disposal is in the course of business under a site licence, records include:

    • the description of the metal, including its type (or types if mixed), form and weight; 
    • the date and time of its disposal; 
    • if the disposal is to another person, the full name and address of that person; and
    • if the dealer receives payment for the metal (whether by way of sale or exchange), the price or other consideration received.

    Where the disposal is in the course of business under a collector's licence, records include:

    • the date and time of the disposal; and 
    • if the disposal is to another person, the full name and address of that person.

      Displaying of licences

      A scrap metal dealer who holds a site licence must display a copy of the licence at each site identified in the licence and the copy must be displayed in a prominent place in an area accessible to the public.

      A scrap metal dealer who holds a collector's licence must display a copy of the licence on any vehicle that is being used in the course of the dealer's business. The copy must be displayed in a manner which enables it easily to be read by a person outside the vehicle.