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Scrap Metal Dealers

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 has brought about a greater degree of control of scrap metal movement in the UK and supports legitimate dealers whilst providing powers to deal with unscrupulous operators.

The Act requires that all persons carrying on a business as a scrap metal dealer must be licenced by all Local Authorities in whose area they conduct business. Failure to be licensed is an offence.

There are two types of licence (Fees for 2023/24):

• a site licence, which costs £460 
• a collectors licence, which costs £235

There is also a £40 administration fee to make amendments to any licence.

Fees are set by each Local Authority, so they do vary but are based upon the anticipated costs of running the licensing regime. Each licence lasts for three years.

The Act gives us powers to approve a licence depending on the suitability of the applicant. We can also refuse or revoke a licence depending on various considerations identified within the Act.

Once issued a site licence must be displayed in a prominent position either on the premises, or, for a collectors licence, on the vehicle used for the collection of scrap.

The Act also brings into force three important elements which must be adhered to by the scrap metal dealer:

• Verification of the supplier’s identity
• Scrap can no longer be bought for cash
• Records of scrap bought or disposed of must be kept

Scrap metal dealers cannot now receive scrap without confirming and keeping copies of the identity of the supplier who must provide their full name and address, evidenced by providing separate documentation.

A dealer can now only buy scrap using a non transferable cheque or by the electronic transfer of funds. Copies of all cheques must be kept.

The scrap metal dealer must also keep detailed records of all suppliers, persons to whom they sell to, a detailed log of the metal itself and copies of any payments received. Records must be kept in a manner which allows the information and the scrap metal to which it relates to be readily identified by reference to each other. All records must be kept for a minimum of 3 years from the date that the metal was received or disposed of.

Full information of the records that must be kept, together with the letter sent to all Scrap Metal Dealers and the associated application form, can be found by clicking on the links at the bottom of the page. Additional guidance from the Home Office, including when such licenses may be required can also be downloaded.


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