Hartlepool Borough Council

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013


The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 came into effect on 1st October 2013 and requires anyone operating a business of buying or selling scrap metal to be licensed by the local Council.

Do you deal in Scrap Metal?

The new law describes a scrap metal dealer as someone who carries on a business which consists wholly or partly in buying or selling scrap metal, whether or not metal is sold in the form in which it was bought, OR someone who carries on business as a motor salvage operator.

If your business fits within one of the definitions above you may need to obtain a new Scrap Metal licence and you should read on for more details.

What types of licence are there?

If you are a scrap metal dealer you must apply for one of the two types of licence available. These are: -

  • Site licence. This type of licence is needed for anyone operating a scrap metal business from a fixed site or sites.
  • Collectors licence. This type of licence is needed for anyone buying or selling scrap metal door to door.

Please note that only one type of licence can be held at any one time so, if you need a licence, you must decide which type of licence is appropriate for your business. 

Site licences

A site licence allows a scrap metal business to be operated from a specified site (or sites).

The licence will specify which sites are covered by the licence and who has been appointed as the Site Manager for each site. The Site Manager is an individual who exercises day-to-day control and management activities at the site.

A site licence may be in the name of an individual, partnership or company.

Under the terms of a site licence it is possible to employ staff who can leave the site to collect scrap metal but there will be a requirement for such collectors to carry documentation with them to identify who they are working for.

Collector's licence

A collector's licence is needed for any business that involves collecting scrap metal door-to-door. A licence is needed for each different Council area that the collector works in.  

A licensed collector is not permitted to store scrap metal anywhere and, essentially, collected metal must be sold rather than stored. If metal is to be stored a site licence would be required instead.

Any vehicle used to travel door-to-door will be issued with a licence that must be displayed on it so that it can be seen from outside the vehicle.

How to apply for a licence

You must complete the application form and return it to the Licensing Team, together with the following:  

  • Photographic ID e.g. Valid passport or photo card driving licence    (original or certified copy)
  • Utility Bill (original or certified copy)
  • A Basic Disclosure Certificate from Disclosure Scotland .  You can apply for this certificate at http://www.disclosurescotland.co.uk/apply/individuals
  • Fees - £350 for a site licence and £120 for a collector's licence.  Please note a Licence last for 3 years.   

When to apply for a licence

If you have not submitted your application before 15th October 2013 your current authorisations will have lapsed on 16th October, therefore you must stop trading until such time as a new licence is granted to you - something that may take several weeks. 

What happens once you have applied for a licence?  

The Council is legally required to take steps to ensure that you are a fit and proper person to operate a scrap metal business. This will include consideration of any criminal convictions you, or your site manager, may have.

Once the Council receives your completed application it will be processed and a licence, if granted, will be issued in due course.

If a licence is granted the Council and the Police will have a right to visit the premises to ensure that the law is being complied with.

If you obtain a collector's licence the Council and the Police will have the right to inspect the records that you are required to keep.  Here is a template of a Record, which will enable you to comply with the Law.

Other requirements of the new Act

In addition to the new licensing system there are some other significant changes to how scrap metal dealers must operate: - 

  • If your business involves receiving scrap metal there is a new requirement to record certain information about the scrap metal being received and details of who was selling it. This includes a requirement to verify the seller's name and address.
  • If your business involves disposing of scrap metal there is a new requirement to record certain information about the scrap metal being disposed of and details of who received it.
  • Cash payments for scrap metal will no longer be permitted. Payments for scrap must, in future, be made by either cheque or direct bank transfer.

 This guidance is intended to be a brief summary of the requirements of the new Act and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal document. You are strongly advised to read the law in detail to ensure you comply with any legal requirements that may apply to you or your business. This may involve speaking to a solicitor or seeking other legal advice.  

Please note that it will be a criminal offence to operate a scrap metal dealers business without the appropriate licence.

If you are in any doubt or require further assistance please contact the Licensing Team.  

Address: Civic Centre, Victoria Road, Hartlepool, TS24 8AY

Tel: 01429 523354

Email: licensing@hartlepool.gov.uk

Contact us

Telephone: 01429 266522

Send your feedback or find key contact details.