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Scrap metal dealers

Do you need a licence to sell scrap metal, how to apply and pay for a scrap metal dealer's registration, what happens if you don't apply and how to report an unregistered scrap metal dealer.

Do I need a licence to deal in scrap metal?

Under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

If you are an individual, partnership or limited company that is carrying on a business as a Scrap Metal Dealer whether or not authorised by a licence, you will require either a Scrap Metal Dealer Site Licence or Scrap Metal Collector Licence within each district you trade-in.

The definition of a Scrap Metal Dealer is 'someone carrying on a business which consists wholly or in part of buying or selling scrap metal whether or not the metal is sold in the form in which it is bought'. Or carries on business as a motor salvage operator. 

A motor salvage dealer carries on the business which consists:

  • Wholly or partly in recovering salvageable parts from motor vehicles for re-use or sale and subsequently selling or otherwise disposing of the rest of the vehicle for scrap.
  • Wholly or mainly in buying written-off vehicles and subsequently repairing or reselling them. 
  • Wholly or mainly in buying or selling motor vehicles which are to be the subject (whether immediately or on a subsequent re-sale) or any of the activities mentioned above.
  • Wholly or mainly in activities falling within the above points. 

For more information on on how East Riding of Yorkshire Council will deliver the requirements of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 in relation to both applications and compliance/enforcement activity, and what it expects of its applicants/licence holders. Please read our licensing policy on the below link:

Scrap Metal Policy (pdf 307kb)

Scrap Metal Dealer Site Licence

If you trade in scrap metal or motor salvage from fixed location within the East Riding of Yorkshire district you need to apply for Scrap Metal Dealer Site Licence.

Scrap Metal Collector Licence

This is a person that carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer otherwise than at a site and regularly engages in the course of that business in collecting waste materials and old broken/worn-out or defaced articles by means of door-to-door visits. This includes pre-arranged collection of scrap metal. 

What is classed as scrap metal?

Scrap metal is defined as 'any old waste or discarded metal or metallic material and any product article or assembly which is made from or contains metal and is broken/worn out or regarded by its last holder as having reached the end of its useful life'.

The only exemption to this is gold and silver, or any alloy which is 2% or more by weight attributable gold or silver.

Do I need a licence to transport scrap metal?

In most cases you will require a waste carriers permit issued by the Environmental Agency to carry scrap metal and any waste on a vehicle. 

For more information and the online application please visit the Environmental Agency.gov website on the below link. 

GOV.UK - Register or renew as a waste carrier, broker or dealer (external website)

How do I apply for a scrap metal dealer licence?

New Applications

Applications for a scrap metal dealer licence can only be accepted from persons over 18 years of age.

Applications for a scrap metal dealers licence for within the East Riding should be applied for using the below online application form:

Apply for a scrap metal licence 

Along with this application, you must submit all supporting documentation as listed below to licensing@eastriding.gov.uk,  applications without all supporting documents will not be accepted will be returned:

  • Basic Criminal Record, not older than 3-months-old on the date of application.
    Basic Criminal Record (external website)
    The appropriate fee (£540 for a scrap metal dealer's site licence) (£415 for a scrap metal collector's licence)

Collectors only: 

  • Fee for ID badge and vehicle plate (£100)
  • One passport style photograph which can be sent by email.
  • Details of all vehicles used for collecting scrap, to include make, model, colour and registration number.
  • An identity document which can be either a valid passport or DVLA photocard. 

A scrap metal dealer licence will last for 3 years once granted.

A tacit consent does not apply to this application, meaning that your application will not be automatically granted after a specified period of time. Each application must be considered on its own merit. 

Renewal Applications 

Applications to renew and existing licence is due for expiry should be applied for using the below online application form at least 10 working days prior to the expiry. 

Along with this application, you must submit all supporting documentation as listed below to licensing@eastriding.gov.uk, but applications without all supporting documents will not be accepted and will be returned and your licence may expire:

Apply for a scrap metal licence 

What is tax conditionality and the HMRC tax check access codes?

From 4 April 2022, Licensing Authorities must carry out certain checks on applications from individuals, companies and any type of partnership to make sure they are aware of their tax responsibilities or have completed a tax check. 

New applications will not need to complete a tax check however we must ask them to read the HMRC guidance on the below link what they need to do to be properly registered for tax in the future and they will need to confirm that they have done this. 

HMRC Guidance (External Website) 

Existing licence holders will have to obtain a tax check access code from the HMRC and submit this on the renewal application. By law the Local Authority must return any renewal application that is submitted without a valid HMRC tax check access code, for more information on this check please read the below question.

Please be aware that under schedule 23 to Finance Act 2011 (Data Gathering Powers) and Schedule to 36 to Finance Act 2008 (Information and Inspection Powers) the HMRC have powers to obtain relevant information from third parties. This includes licensing bodies being required to provide information about licence applicants. 

What if I have convictions?

There are relevant offences under The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, to which the Licensing Authority can consider to determine your suitability to hold a licence, and these are provided in the document below:

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (Prescribed Relevant Offences and Relevant Enforcement Action) Regulations 2013 (pdf 28kb)

Licensing Authorities may also take into consideration other aspects as outlined in the below statutory guidance:

Scrap Metal Dealer licensing - Guidance for Licensing Authorities (pdf 173kb)

How do I pay?

All payments are made at the end of our online application forms. An officer will contact you to take a payment for a collectors ID badge and plate. Our current fees are listed below. 

Current fees

Item  Fee 
Scrap metal dealer site licence £540
Mobile collector licence £415
Vehicle plate for collector £50
ID badge £50

Renewal fees

Item Fee
Site licence (3 years) £485
Mobile collector £355

Other fees

Item Fee
 Minor administration change to a licence £35
 Variation of transfer of a licence £210
 New or replacement plate for vehicle £50
 ID badge new or replacement £50

Will I be granted a scrap metal dealer licence?

The Local Authority can consider any information it deems relevant to assess the applicant's suitability to be issued a scrap metal dealer licence.

This may include:

  • Criminal Record Check, relevant convictions of the operator or site manager
  • the applicant has been refused, or had revoked a scrap metal dealer licence
  • the applicant has been refused a relevant environmental permit or registration.

All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

By law the Local Authority must return any renewal application that is submitted without a valid HMRC tax check access code, for more information on this check, please read the below question. 

A tacit consent does not apply to this application, meaning that your application will not be automatically granted after a specified period of time. Each application must be considered on its own merit. 

Can I change my scrap metal dealer licence?

You can apply to change a detail on your licence for example the registered address of the licence holder, change of name or apply for a replacement licence.

The fee for minor changes is £35. 

You can also apply to change your collecting vehicle, the fee for this change is £50.

You can also apply to vary your scrap metal dealer site licence to a scrap metal mobile collector's licence. 

The fee for this £210.

All requests for a change to your scrap metal dealer licence must be put in writing to the licensing@eastriding.gov.uk email address. 

What are the offences under The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013?

The following offences can be committed under The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. 

Section

Offence

Max Fine   Penalty

1

Carrying on the business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence

Level 5

8

Failure to notify the authority of any changes to details given with the application

Level 3

10

Failure to display a site licence or collector’s licence

Level 3

11 (6)

Receiving scrap metal without verifying person's full name and address

Level 3

11 (7)

Delivering scrap metal to a dealer and giving false details

Level 3

12 (6)

Buying scrap metal for cash

Level 5

13

Failure to keep records regarding receipt of metal

Level 5

14

Failure to keep records regarding disposal of metal

Level 5

15 (1)

Failure to keep records which allow the information and the scrap metal to be identified by reference to one another

Level 5

15 (2)

Failure to keep copy document used to verify name and address of person bringing scrap metal, or failure to keep a copy of the cheque issued

Level 5

15 (3)

Failure to keep information and records for three years

Level 5

16

Obstruction to right of entry and failure to produce records

Level 3

What happens if I do not apply for a scrap metal dealer licence?

If you trade in scrap metal without a valid licence in place you will be committing a criminal offence which on summary of conviction holds a maximum fine of level 5 on the standard scale (Unlimited fine). 

Who holds a scrap metal dealer's licence?

The register shows all currently licensed scrap metal dealers within the East Riding of Yorkshire, and includes motor salvage dealers: 

Scrap metal site and collectors public register (pdf 435kb)

Please note: a scrap metal dealers' licence expires 3 years from the date granted. 

You can also check the licence of a scrap metal dealer on The Environmental Agency public register.

How do I report an unlicensed scrap metal dealer?

To report an unlicensed scrap metal dealer please email us:  licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

Please include any information that may assist us with our investigation, such as the address of the collector or the site, collecting vehicle make, model and registration or any advertising.

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