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Scrap metal dealer licensing

Under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, those who deal in scrap metal require a licence. There are two types of licence – one for running a site and one for mobile collectors who do not operate from a site.

Who can apply?

Any ‘suitable person’ may apply for either licence. A ‘suitable person’ is assessed at the time of application as someone who does not have any previous, relevant convictions. All responsible persons within a company or partnership must be ‘suitable persons’. 

A current Disclosure Barring Service Check, with at least six months remaining will be required before any application can be processed. In addition, an upper tier waste carriers registration from the Environment Agency will also be required.

If you intend to collect scrap metal in more than one local authority area, you must apply for a licence from each local authority. You should therefore contact each authority directly to obtain a copy of their application form.

Is planning permission required?

We recommend that you discuss your proposals with our planning team to determine whether a planning application is needed.

How long will it take for my application to be assessed?

Once your application has been received, an officer will contact you as soon as possible, and within 28 days. The amount of time taken to determine the application will range depending on a number of factors, such as whether the application is complete or if further information is required.

Will tacit consent apply?

No - a site must not be run without a licence and scrap metal must not be collected without a licence.

How do I apply?

How much does a licence cost?

 Site licenceCollector's licence
New application £395 £229
Variation £161 £88
Renewal £303 £194

How long does a licence last?

Site licences and collector’s licences last for 3 years from the date they are issued.

What can I do if my licence application is refused?

You can apply to the Magistrates' Court if your application is refused.

Public register of licensed sites and collectors

The Environment Agency publishes a national register of site licences and collectors licences.