Scrap Metal Collector and Site Licences

A scrap metal dealer must obtain a licence from the Local Authority in order to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer.

It will be an offence to carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer in breach of the requirement to hold a licence.  It will be an offence to carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer in breach of the requirement to hold a licence.


To apply for this Licence please read our Icon for pdf guidance [309.51KB] and complete the Icon for word application form [123.13KB]. Please return it to the Licensing Department, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5BT along with the appropriate fee:

Scrap Metal Dealers Licensing Fees

Types of Licences

There are two types of licence, one for a site and the other for a collector (for those carrying on business otherwise than at a site).

Site Licence

A site licence will be issued by the Local Authority in whose area a scrap metal site is situated and will require all of the sites at which the licensee carries on the business as a scrap metal dealer within the Local Authority area to be identified and a site manager to be named for each site. In doing so, they will be permitted to operate from those sites as a scrap metal dealer, including transporting scrap metal to and from those sites from any Local Authority area.

Collector's Licence

A collector's licence will authorise the licensee to operate as a collector in the area of the issuing Local Authority, permitting them to collect any scrap metal as appropriate. This includes commercial as well as domestic scrap metal.

The licence does not permit the collector to collect from any other Local Authority area; a separate licence would need to be obtained from each Local Authority in whose area the individual wished to collect in. A licence also does not authorise the licensee to carry on a business at a site within any area - should a collector wish to use a fixed site, they would need to obtain a site licence from the relevant Local Authority. There is no restriction as to the location where the collector may transport and sell their metals.

The Act repeals the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 and consolidates scrap metal dealers & motor salvage operators under one licensing regime. Local Authorities will continue to act as the main regulator but the new Act gives Licensing Authorities more powers, including the power to refuse a license and powers to revoke licenses if the dealer is considered unsuitable. Both the Local Authority and the Police have been given powers to enter and inspect premises.

Summary of the Act

The Act defines a "scrap metal dealer" as a person who is for the time being carrying on a business as a scrap metal dealer, whether or not authorised by a licence.

It further states that "scrap metal" includes:

(a) any old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material, and
(b) 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 following is not considered to be "scrap metal":

(a) gold,
(b) silver, and
(c) any alloy of which 2 per cent or more by weight is attributable to gold or silver.