Scrap Metal Licences

Scrap metal dealers need a licence from the Council. Find out more here.

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (the Act) came into force on 1 October 2013.

In order for anyone to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer they have to have a licence. These licences will last for three years. Trading without a licence is a criminal offence.

There are two types of licence specified in the Act:

  • Site licence - All the sites where a licensee carries on business as a scrap metal dealer have to be identified, and a site manager has to be named for each site. This licence allows the licensee to transport scrap metal to and from those sites from any local authority area.
  • Collector's licence - This allows the licensee to operate as a collector in the area of the issuing local authority. It does not allow the collector to operate in any other local authority area, so a separate licence has to be obtained from each council the collector wishes to operate in. The licence does not authorise the licensee to operate a site; to do so they will need a site licence from the relevant local authority.

A dealer can only hold one type of licence in any one local authority area. You have to decide whether you are going to have a site or collector's licence.

What is a Scrap Metal Dealer?

The Act defines a "scrap metal dealer" as a person who is operating a business as a scrap metal dealer, whether authorised by a licence or not.

It further states that "scrap metal" includes:

  1. any old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material;
  2. 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 metals are not considered to be "scrap metal":

  1. gold;
  2. silver;
  3. any alloy of which 2 per cent or more by weight is attributable to gold or silver.

How to Apply

To apply, please download and complete the application form below:

Once you have completed the form, please use the button below to make your payment and send us the form:

Pay and submit form


The fees for these licences are available on our Licensing Fees page.

All applications must be submitted with the correct licence fee and are subject to a 28-day consultation period.

You and every person listed on the application form must submit a Basic Disclosure Certificate from Disclosure Scotland. You can apply online for a "Basic Disclosure"  and there is a fee payable to them. The basic disclosure will be issued no earlier than one calendar month before giving the application to us for it to be considered as valid.

To make sure the premises meet the requirements of the Act, Devon and Cornwall Police and the Council may inspect the premises.

The licensed scrap metal dealer must notify us of any changes to these details or if they cease to be a scrap metal dealer.

We aim to complete the application process within 30 working days, providing no representations are made. Tacit Consent does not apply in respect of this application.

If your application is successful your licence will run for three years. You must apply to renew your licence before your current licence expires.