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Scrap metal licence

Anyone wishing to carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer requires a licence.

A person carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer if they:

  • carry on a business which consists wholly or partly in buying or selling scrap metal, whether or not the metal is sold in the form in which it was bought
  • carry on a business as a motor salvage operator 

Scrap metal includes:

  • any old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material
  • 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 

It does not include:

  • gold, silver and any alloy of which 2% or more by weight is attributable to gold or silver 

Types of licence

Site licence

This is where the scrap metal business is operated from one or more sites in the local authority area. The licence allows the licensee to buy and sell scrap metal and to transport scrap metal to and from those sites from any local authority area.

Collectors licence

This is where the scrap metal operator collects scrap metal in the local authority area. A separate licence must be obtained from each council the collector wishes to operate in.

A scrap metal dealer is only permitted to hold one type of licence in any one local authority area.

A scrap metal dealer must not receive scrap metal from a person without verifying that person's full name and address and must not pay cash for any scrap metal he purchases. The scrap metal dealer must keep copies of any documents used to verify the identity of the seller.

The dealer is required to record specific information regarding the sale or purchase of any scrap metal. For further details of the legal requirements please refer to the regulations relating to this licence (Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013).

Eligibility criteria

An application for a site or collector's licence can be made by an individual, company or partnership and must be submitted on the relevant council application form. The applicant and any directors, partners and, in the case of a site licence any persons nominated as site managers, are required to disclose any convictions for any relevant offences.

The council requests that a basic disclosure of convictions form, which should be issued no earlier than 3 calendar months of the licence application being submitted to the licensing authority, be submitted for each person named on the application form. A Basic Disclosure Certificate can be applied for on-line via the Disclosure Scotland website. If a disclosure certificate is not submitted with the application form, this may result in the application being delayed or rejected.

How to apply

To apply for this licence:

We are unable to accept this form by email because it must have a signature. Please print the form, sign it and return it to:

Environmental Services
Unit 1
Newfields Business Park
2 Stinsford Road
BH17 0NF

Application evaluation process

Applications must be submitted on the forms provided by the licensing authority and be accompanied by the required fee. Please see the schedule of fees for further information. The following criteria, amongst others, will be considered when the application is being evaluated:

  • whether the applicant, and in the case of a company or partnership, whether the directors of the company, the company secretary, or each of the partners (whichever the case may be) is a suitable person to carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer
  • 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 refusal)
  • any previous refusal of an application for a relevant environmental permit or registration (and the reasons for 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

A licence will be valid for three years from the date of issue and, in the case of a site licence, a copy of the licence must be displayed at each site identified in the licence in a prominent position accessible to the public. In the case of a collector's licence a copy of the licence must be displayed on any vehicle that is used in the course of the dealer's business.

Scrap metal licence fees

  • site licence - new application: £781
  • collectors licence - new application: £450
  • site licence - renewal: £533
  • collectors licence - renewal: £391
  • variation: £273
  • minor variation: £40
  • replacement licence: £40

Will tacit consent apply

Tacit consent will not apply. It is in the public interest that we must process you application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us.

Page last updated: 08 February 2019
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