Scrap metal licences

Scrap metal dealer licence

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 states that anyone collecting, buying or selling scrap metal, including motor salvage operators, needs a scrap metal dealer's licence. This is intended to improve operating standards and prevent illegal operations.

These do not replace the Waste Carrier’s Licence. To collect scrap in the Central Bedfordshire area, you will also need a Waste Carrier's Licence that is issued by the Environment Agency (link opens in new window).

We will not issue or renew a scrap metal licence unless we are satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer. If you or a site manager has been convicted of any relevant offence or subject to relevant enforcement action, or if an application has been refused before, we may not enter a licence.

There are two types of licence

Site licence

  • all sites at which the licensee carries on business as a scrap metal dealer must be identified
  • a site manager must be named for each site
  • you can operate from those sites as a scrap metal dealer, and transport scrap metal to and from those sites from any local authority area

Collector's licence

  • a collector's licence authorises the licensee to operate as a mobile collector in the area of the issuing authority
  • a separate licence must be obtained from each council the collector wishes to operate in
  • the licence does not authorise the licensee to operate a site

A dealer can only hold one type of licence in any one local authority area.

The fees for scrap metal dealer licences, both new and renewal, are:

Collector's licence (valid for three years): £459.55

Site licence (valid for three years): £535.30

Along with this application form you must submit:

  • a Basic Disclosure Certificate, not older than 3 months old on the date of application, for each person named on the licence. This can be obtained from Disclosure Scotland (link opens in new window)
  • the appropriate fee
  • waste carriers licence (if applicable)

You can apply online for a scrap metal dealers certificate (link opens in new window)


Guidance notes (PDF 81.5KB)

Checklist (PDF 81.5KB)

Issuing of a licence

We must not issue or renew a scrap metal licence unless we are satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer.

The following criteria, amongst others, will be considered when an application is being evaluated:

  • 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 of an application for the issue or renewal of a scrap metal licence (and the reasons for the refusal)
  • any previous refusal of an application for a relevant environmental permit or registration (and the reasons for the refusal)
  • any previous revocation of a scrap metal licence (and the reasons for revocation)
  • whether the applicant has demonstrated that there will be in place adequate procedures to ensure that the provisions of the Act are complied with

This ability to regulate who is, and who is not, a scrap metal dealer is designed to improve operating standards and the transition from the requirement on dealers to register to holding a licence provides an opportunity to ensure that those dealers who have been operating illegally are no longer able to do so.

Displaying the licence

A scrap metal dealer who holds a site licence must display a copy of the licence at each site identified in the licence. The copy must be displayed in a prominent place in an area accessible to the public.

A scrap metal dealer who holds a collector's licence must display a copy of the licence on any vehicle that is being used in the course of the dealer's business. The copy must be displayed in a manner which enables it easily to be read by a person outside the vehicle.

Tacit consent

Tacit consent does not apply for this licence. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please email the licensing team at licensing@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

Appeals and redress

Failed application redress

If an application for a licence is refused the applicant can appeal to the Magistrate's Court within 21 days of notice of the decision.

Licence holder redress

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence, or revocation of the licence can appeal to the Magistrate's Court within 21 days of notice of the decision to attach the condition or revoke the licence, whichever the case may be.

Other redress

If your complaint relates to an existing licensed premises or a premises is suspected of operating without the required permission please contact our licensing team on 0300 300 8647 or by email to licensing@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

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