Scrap Metal Dealing
Since 1 October 2013 it has been an offence for a scrap metal dealer to buy scrap metal for cash. A person guilty of this offence may be fined up to £5,000.
The new regime introduces a three-year licence, and there will be two types of licences that can be applied for:
- Site licence, and
- Collector’s licence
A dealer can only hold one type of licence in any one local authority area, so will have to decide whether they are going to have a site or mobile/collectors licence to operate in the borough.
- Site licence - the fee for this is £350
- Collector’s licence - the fee for this £250
A dealer can only hold one type of licence in any one local authority area. An application needs to be made for either of these licences and a fee will be payable to the council. You will also need to get a basic criminal record disclosure form as part of the application process.
A collector’s licence will allow a person to collect scrap only within the authority area that it was issued. You will need to apply for collector’s licences from separate local authorities should you wish to operate in more than one local authority area. Please note that you must still have a valid Waste Carrier’s Licence.
To operate or collect scrap in the London Borough of Haringey you will be required to hold a licence issued by this council and a Waste Carriers Licence that is issued by the Environment Agency.
Scrap metal regulations are being tightened to tackle the rise of metal theft, which can result in significant disruption, cost and upset to our communities. Operators will now have to pass a rigorous ‘suitability’ test to be granted a licence - which will involve criminal checks and consultation with the Police and other agencies. New powers will allow sites to be inspected at any reasonable time by authorised council and police officers. Dealing in scrap metal without a licence will be an offence with the potential, upon conviction, of a level 5 fine (currently £5,000 - this may change in the near future if planned law changes take effect).
- Please note: Motor salvage operators also now need to apply for a site license under this new regime
- Application form for a licence - site or collector (PDF, 116KB) - to download, complete and send
- Application form for a licence - site or collector (external link) - to complete online
- Guidance Notes for Application for Scrap Metal (PDF, 157KB)
- Guidance from the Home Office (external link)
The council’s Licensing Team will oversee the administration of this legislation. If you are offered cash by a dealer for scrap metal, or have any doubts over whether a business holds or needs a licence, then please contact a member of the Licensing Team in confidence.
The 2013 Act defines a scrap metal dealer, a site, a mobile collector and scrap metal. It will often be a case-by-case consideration to see whether a business or activity falls into the definitions to require a licence.
The guidance on licensable activities under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 linked below may assist you. Links to the full Act and regulations are also provided:
- Licensable activities and definitions guide (PDF, 176KB)
- Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 - Act in full (external link)
- Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 - Supplementary guidance (PDF, 120KB)
- Regulations on required identity and address information PDF, 23KB)
- Relevant offences regulations (PDF, 29KB)
The new system of scrap metal licensing, whether for sites or mobile collectors, brings about additional safeguards to protect our communities’ assets from metal theft. Thieves target buildings, memorials, street signs and furniture, transport cables, pipe work and a whole variety of metal objects, with little or no consideration of the wider impact of their actions.
Tougher penalties and tighter regulation will allow better traceability of scrap metals, auditable record keeping and transactions, identity checks on sellers, inspection of sites, closure powers and revocation of licences. This should act as a deterrent to scrap metal crime. Responsible businesses will welcome these changes and increased public awareness will go some way to reducing problems in the local area.
Fees for licences will pay for the scheme’s administration and inspection checks. Licensed sites and mobile collectors will display a licence at their site or on their vehicle, and the council and Environment Agency will hold registers of legitimately licensed businesses.
The Licensing Team
Level 1 North
River Park House
225 High Road
Tel 020 8489 1335