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Scrap metal dealer

In recent years the 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 (The Act) was introduced on 1 October 2013 to help prevent some of the issues surrounding the sale, collection, storage and disposal of scrap metal.  The Act repealed the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 and Part 1 of the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001, creating a revised regulatory regime for the scrap metal recycling and vehicle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 came into force on 1 October 2013. See here [PDF 77 KB] for explanation of the Act.

The Act required anyone previously registered with the District Council to deal in scrap metal and anyone newly planning to deal in scrap metal, to obtain a licence from the local Council, to operate as a scrap metal dealer. 

Am I eligible?

eugo logoThe following businesses will need licensing under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

Scrap metal dealers (who operate from a site in Derbyshire Dales)

  • Mobile collectors (who do not operate from a site but collect in the Derbyshire Dales)
  • Motor salvage operators (who operate from a site in the Derbyshire Dales); 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, plumbers electricians).

There are two types of licence required depending on the circumstances. These are a Site Licence and a Collector’s Licence.

A Site Licence

A site licence is required for all sites at which a person carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer within the local authority area.  The law requires a site manager to be named for each site. The licence-holder 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. 

A Collector's Licence

A collector's licence authorises a person to operate as a mobile collector of scrap metal  in the District Council’s area, where the licence is granted.  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 must be obtained from every local authority area in which he/she wishes to collect).  

A collector's licence does not authorise the licensee to carry on a business at a site within any area. If a collector wishes to use a fixed site, they would need to obtain a site licence from the local authority. There is no restriction on the location where the collector can transport and sell their metals.

Environmental Permits

To be granted a licence to deal in scrap metal, the applicant will need to hold an environmental permit or registration from the Environment Agency, which authorises them to carry/transport scrap metal.  Once the District Council has granted a licence to deal in scrap metal, the licence-holder's details will be submitted to the Environment Agency, where a national public register of every licensed scrap metal dealer will be held. 

 Regulation summary

No person or business, may carry on the business of dealing in scrap metal unless registered to do so by the Local Authority. This activity is controlled by the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 [PDF 212KB].

How will my application be evaluated?

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

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

Applicants must be able to provide the following information in the application:

  • 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.
  • Any proposed trading name for the business.
  • The applicant’s telephone number and email address (if any).
  • The address of each proposed site to be included in the Site Licence.
  • The address of any site in another Council’s 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 Derbyshire Dales District Council of any changes to these details or if they stop operating as a scrap metal dealer.

Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant for completion, which will delay the grant of the Licence.

What if I don't hear back within the specified time?

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It Is in the public interest that the local authority must process your application before it can be granted. However, if you have not heard from us within 21 days, please contact us. 

To Apply 

The Application Process

1)     Please read the Guidance Notes on how to apply for a licence - click here.

2)    Download and complete the application form. You can apply by using the on-line facility at Gov.UK; or if you prefer you can email your forms to licensing@derbyshiredales.gov.uk and telephone us to make your payment - 01629 761313.

3)    All applicants must provide a Basic Disclosure Certificate so an individual’s suitability can be assessed. You can obtain this from Disclosure Scotland, on-line at www.disclosurescotland.com.  If you have any difficulty or queries with this, Disclosure Scotland can be contacted on 0870 609 6006 or by emailing info@disclosurescotland.co.uk

       When the certificate is returned to you, you will need to submit it to the District Council with your application form and fee.  For the purpose of Scrap Metal Dealer Licences these certificates will remain valid for 3 months.

4)    Enclose the correct fee with the application.

       The fees for licences granted by Derbyshire Dales District Council are currently:

    Site Licence (for a 3 year period)            £297.00

   Site Licence (Variation)                          £140.00

   Collector's Licence (for a 3 year period)   £166.00

What happens if my registration is refused?

New or Renewal Application

Any applicant who is refused a licence, (or renewal of a licence), or if the licence is revoked, can appeal to a local Magistrates’ Court. 

Existing Licence Holder Redress 

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to a licence can appeal to a local Magistrates’ court.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first point of contact should be made by you, with the trader, (in this case, the scrap metal dealer or proprietor of a business) - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, please contact the Licensing Team for assistance.

If you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Trade Associations

British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA)

International Aluminium Institute

Metal Bulletin

Public registers

A National Public Register of scrap metal dealers is held by the Environment Agency and can be accessed via the EA website. Click here [PDF 25 KB].