Scrap metal and motor salvage operators are now regulated by The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

Overview - The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 changes the regulatory regime for scrap metal dealing and vehicle dismantling and gives the Police and Local Authorities more powers to refuse and revoke licences as well as greater rights of entry and inspection.

The Act brings in two types of licences; either a site licence or a collectors licence. A person can only hold one licence in a Local Authority's area but can hold a licence in more than one local authority.  Both scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators will have to comply with the same rules and regulations.

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.

Whether the applicant *or any site manager has been the subject of any relevant enforcement action.

Any previous refusal for issue of or renewal of a scrap metal licence.

Any previous refusal for an environment 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

*All of the above will apply to any director, site manager or any secretary of a company if the applicant is not an individual.

Once an application has been received the local authority may consult with:

  • Any other local authority (if an application has been made or licence issued to the same applicant)
  • The Environment Agency
  • The Police.

The Act has also introduced the requirement for the Environment Agency to keep and maintain a register of scrap metal licences issued in England and that register will be open for public inspection.

There is a requirement for scrap metal dealers to verify the identity and full name and address of the metal supplier and keep copies of proof of identification. In addition the dealer must keep records of the type of description of the metal(s) including weight and identifying marks, the date and time of receipt, the vehicle registration of any vehicle delivering the metal and copies of cheques used to pay for metal. All records must be kept for 3 years.

The Act also prohibits the payment of cash for metals.

Local Authority and Police Officers have been given powers to inspect licensed  premises and can require production of any scrap metal at the premises, inspect records kept and take copies of those records. The Act provides police or local authority powers to issue closure notices to unlicensed scrap metal dealing premises and apply to a justice of the peace for a closure order.

The current legislation only permits registration with basic information and no fee payable. The new Act will require more detailed information to be submitted on application and will require a fee to be paid.

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 application fees

Collectors  will have to licence separately in each area they collect scrap metal.  A licence will only cover activities in the authority area which issues the licence.

Reporting an unlicensed collector

If you see a mobile scrap collector who you believe is unlicensed, then telephone the police on the non-emergency number of 101. 

You would need to give the details of the vehicle, its make, colour, vehicle registration number, and any trading name it may have written on it.

For further information or an application form contact: General Licensing Team, Sandwell Council House, Po Box 2374, Oldbury B69 3DE.


Applications for a licence must be sent to: General Licensing Team, Sandwell Council House, PO Box 2374, Oldbury B69 3DE with the relevant fee and other documents required.