Scrap Metal Dealers Licence


Permission summary

Anyone wishing to carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer requires a licence.

A person carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer if he:

  • 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 a business as a motor salvage operator.

Scrap metal includes:

  • any old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material, and
  • 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.

It does not include:

  • gold, silver and any alloy of which 2% or more by weight is attributable to gold or silver.

There are two types of licences:

Site Licence - This is where the scrap metal business is operated from one or more sites in the local authority area. The licence allows the licensee to buy and sell scrap metal and to transport scrap metal to and from those sites from any local authority area.

Collector's Licence - This is where the scrap metal operator collects scrap metal in the local authority area. A separate licence must be obtained from each council the collector wishes to operate in.

A scrap metal dealer is only permitted to hold one type of licence in any one local authority area.

A scrap metal dealer must not receive scrap metal from a person without verifying that person's full name and address and must not pay cash for any scrap metal he purchases. The scrap metal dealer must keep copies of any documents used to verify the identity of the seller.

The dealer is required to record specific information regarding the sale or purchase of any scrap metal. For further details of the legal requirements please refer to the regulations relating to this licence.

Eligibility Criteria

An application for a site or collector's licence can be made by an individual, company or partnership and must be submitted on the relevant council application form. The applicant and any directors, partners and, in the case of a site licence any persons nominated as site managers, are required to disclose any convictions for any relevant offences.

The Council requests that a basic disclosure of convictions form, which should be issued no earlier than three calendar months of the licence application being submitted to the licensing authority, be submitted for each person named on the application form. A Basic Disclosure Certificate can be applied for on-line via the Disclosure Scotland website.  If a disclosure certificate is not submitted with the application form this may result in the application being delayed or rejected.

Regulation Summary

See the summary of regulation relating to this licence for further information.

Application evaluation process

Applications must be submitted on the forms provided by the licensing authority and be accompanied by the required fee. Please see the schedule of fees for further information. The following criteria, amongst others, will be considered when the application is being evaluated:

  • whether the applicant, and in the case of a company or partnership, whether the directors of the company, the company secretary, or each of the partners (whichever the case may be) is a suitable person to carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer
  • whether the applicant or any site manager has been convicted of any relevant offence
  • whether the applicant or any site manager has been the subject of any relevant enforcement action
  • any previous refusal of an application for the issue or renewal of a scrap metal licence (and the reasons for refusal)
  • any previous refusal of an application for a relevant environmental permit or registration (and the reasons for refusal)
  • any previous revocation of a scrap metal licence (and the reasons for revocation)
  • whether the applicant has demonstrated that there will be in place adequate procedures to ensure that the provisions of the Act are complied with

Licensing officers will arrange to visit the applicant's business premises prior to any licence being granted.

A licence will be valid for three years from the date of issue and, in the case of a site licence, a copy of the licence must be displayed at each site identified in the licence in a prominent position accessible to the public. In the case of a collector's licence a copy of the licence must be displayed on any vehicle that is used in the course of the dealer's business.

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application and consult with relevant authorities before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the licensing authority within a reasonable period, please email the licensing team.

Apply on-line

You are advised to save a copy of your original application in case there are any amendments that need to be made on the form and it needs to be resubmitted. The online forms should only be used for applications which will be submitted via the online facility. In all other cases see Apply via Post for the relevant form.

  • On-line application for a Scrap Metal Dealers Licence (not currently available) 

Apply via Post

Applications for licences must be submitted on the prescribed forms, which are available in PDF format. If you require Word versions please contact the Licensing Team.


Failed Application Redress

If an application for a licence is refused the applicant can appeal to Westminster Magistrates’ Court, 181 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5BR within 21 days of notice of the decision.

Licence Holder Redress

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence, or revocation of the licence can appeal to Westminster Magistrates’ Court, 181 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5BR within 21 days of notice of the decision to attach the condition or revoke the licence, whichever the case may be.

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, Citizens Advice Bureau will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

The council operates a complaints procedure.  To view the complaints procedure or to make a complaint relating to the service you have received please see comments, complaints and feedback.

Other Redress

If there is a concern about noise, pollution, or similar please contact the Council's Environmental Health Line on 020 7361 3002 or email [email protected]  If your complaint relates to an existing licensed premises or a premises is suspected of operating without the required permission please contact the Council's Licensing Team on 020 7341 5152 or email [email protected]

Trade Associations

Last updated: 25 April 2023