Scrap metal

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 received Royal Assent on 28 February 2013, and replaced the previous registration requirements for scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators from 1 October 2013.

Applications are now made for site licences and collectors licences (mobile) under the new legislation. Those registered under the previous legislation before 1 October 2013 had until 15 October 2013 to submit an application for a licence under the new legislation, in order to remain licensed pending the determination of that application.

The legislation came in force fully from 1 December 2013.

The application form and guidance information is just being updated. In the meantime, please email

Summary of the legislation

In summary, the new legislation provides the following:

  • Scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators will both be "scrap metal dealers"
  • An enhanced licence application process, including consultation with the police, Environment Agency and other agencies. There will be two categories of licence:
    • a site licence (can be for multiple sites within the council's area)
    • a collector's licence (separate licences will be required for each council area where collections take place)
  • A person carries on business as a scrap metal dealer if the person:
    1. Carries on a business which consist wholly or partly in buying or selling scrap metal, whether or not the metal is sold in the form in which it was bought or
    2. Carries on business as a motor salvage operator (so far that does not fall within paragraph 1)
  • Scrap metal dealer means a person who is for the time being carrying on business as a scrap metal dealer, whether or not authorised by a licence
  • Scrap metal includes:
    1. any old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material, and
    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
  • Power for council to refuse or revoke licence or impose conditions where appropriate, subject to the right to make representations before refusal, revocation or the imposition of conditions (these are limited to times of operation and a requirement that metal will be kept in its original form for minimum of 72 hours)
  • Licence to be displayed at site or on collector's vehicle where it can be read by the public
  • Sellers must produce personal ID at the point of sale
  • No cash purchases of scrap metal in any circumstances
  • Police and council will have powers to inspect sites
  • Central online public register of licences held by the Environment Agency
  • Fees to be set locally - guidance for the Home Office is awaited
  • Closure notice (from police or council) for unlicensed sites; closure orders (via a magistrates' court) if still used as such after seven days
  • There will be full statutory guidance to accompany the legislation

Please note: this information is meant for guidance purposes only. Any person conducting the business of a scrap metal dealer is responsible for ensuring that they comply with all relevant legislation surrounding that business.

To find out more about registering as a scrap metal dealer in Salford, please contact us using the details below.

Report a scrap metal collector or dealer operating illegally

If you suspect a scrap metal yard or collector is trading illegally you can report the details to us by email or by calling 0161 925 1080.

You can also report them anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

This page was last updated on 5 April 2022

Rate this page