You must hold either a site or mobile collector’s licence, issued by the council, if you’re a scrap metal dealer in England and Wales.
You must not receive scrap metal from a person without verifying their name and address
You must not buy scrap metal for cash
A site licence must be displayed in a prominent place, accessible to the public, at each site identified in the licence
A mobile collector’s licence must be displayed on any vehicle that is being used in the course of the business and can be easily read by a person outside the vehicle
You must keep a record of all scrap metal you receive including:
- description including type, form, condition, weight, any marks identifying previous owners or distinguishing features
- date and time
- the registration mark of the vehicle it was delivered in or on
- the full name and address of the person received from
- the full name of the person who makes the payment acting for the dealer
You must keep a record of all scrap metal you dispose of including:
- description including type, form and weight (site licence holders only)
- date and time
- the full name and address of the person disposed to
- if payment is made (by sale or exchange), the price of other consideration received (site licence holders only)
You must keep your records for 3 years and allow the council or police to inspect your premises and records if asked.
How to apply
You must pay a licence fee and tell the council:
- your name, address, date of birth, telephone number and email address
- the name, address and registered number of your company
- the name, address and date of birth of each partner (if partnership)
- proposed trading name
- address of any site in any council area you carry on, or propose to carry on, business as a scrap metal dealer
- details of any relevant environmental permit or registration
- details of any other scrap metal licence issued in the last 3 years
- details of the bank account that will be used to pay for scrap metal
- details of any conviction for a relevant offence or any relevant enforcement action
- address of each site to be identified in the licence
- name, address and date of birth of site manager named in the licence
You’ll need to renew your licence every 3 years.
You must tell the council within 28 days if you change your trading name or no longer carry on business as a scrap metal dealer.
Fines and penalties
You could be fined £5,000 if you don’t hold a licence
You could also face the following conditions:
- you must not receive scrap metal except between 9am and 5pm on any day
- all scrap metal must be kept in the form it was received up to 72 hours from when it was received
A council may revoke a licence at any time and close unlicensed sites
You will need to produce the documents listed in the guidance upon application.