The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 ensures that there is more effective regulation of the scrap metal and motor salvage trades.

Licence summary

Scrap metal dealers and collectors must be registered with the local authority and this should help to support those that are legitimately operating and provide increased powers to tackle unscrupulous traders who are causing an issue within the industry.

There has been an increase in metal theft and it has been estimated that it has cost the economy approximately 250 – 800 million a year. There has also been disruption of energy supplies, transport and telecommunications networks, as well as problems because inspection covers have been taken and memorials desecrated.

The powers do allow local authorities to grant a licence but also allow a dealer to be refused a licence if he or she is deemed ‘unsuitable’. It will now be possible under certain circumstances for the Council to consider whether a licence should be revoked or renewed and ‘relevant’ convictions can now be taken into account. Other agencies will be consulted during the application process and they will be able to raise concerns if they feel that is an issue with a trader.

There are two licences one is a site licence and the other is a collector’s licence. You will need to apply for one or the other in the local authority area where you trade. If you trade within a number of local authority areas you will need to make an application to each local authority in order to continue to trade in that area.

An application form that you must complete and send it in to the local authority can be found on this page. There are guidance notes attached to the form which should help you in being able to fill it in. Because this licence is covered by the EU Services Directive, you may also apply online using the website and links to the online form can also be found below. The licence is valid for three years.

You will also need to apply to Disclosure Scotland for a Basic Disclosure. This will cost you £25.00 and you will need to provide proof with your application that you have done this and submitted the payment to them. They indicate that they should be able to process these within 14 days.

There is some guidance available on the local Government Association website that provides more information about the detail of the new Act that you may find helpful.

Tacit consent

Tacit consent does not apply to Scrap Metal Dealer Registration.

It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us. You can do this online if you applied through or use the contact details above.

How to apply

The application fee is £500 for the initial grant and £400 for renewals. You can apply for your new Scrap Metal Licence in two ways:

For new applications only, applicants may pay 5% less when making an application. If you do, you would then be invoiced for this amount plus £20 for the additional administration cost, when the licence has been issued.

Once you have your licence, you can vary your licence during the licence period for a fee of £60. To vary your licence you can either write to us enclosing your fee, or you can Vary your Scrap Metal Licence Online  online using the website.

When your licence is due to expire we will write to you and invite you to renew. You will need to complete our Scrap Metal Renewal Form.

Licence holder Redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you – preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked can offer advice on Consumer Protection Rights.

Trade associations

You may find these organisations useful: