Scrap Metal Dealers

Tax Conditionality Checks

As of 4th April 2022, the rules changed when renewing a Scrap Metal Dealers licence. As part of the renewal process you will now need to complete an online tax check.

After you have completed the tax check you will given a 9-character code, this is your tax check code.  You will need to provide this code to the licensing authority with your renewal application - We will not be able to process your renewal application without it.

For further information about the tax conditionality check please click here (PDF, 34 KB) .

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

This Act repeals the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 and consolidates scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators under one licensing regime administered by the Local Authority.

The Act gives Licensing Authorities more powers, including the power to refuse a licence and powers to revoke licences 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 ‘scrap metal dealer’ as a person who is for the time being carrying on a business as scrap metal dealer whether or not authorised by a licence. It further states that ‘scrap metal’ includes:

  • any old waste or discarded metal or metallic material, and
  • 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’:

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

Key changes from 1 October 2013

  • Dealers and collectors will no longer be able to buy scrap metal for cash
  • Detailed records must be kept for receipt and disposal of scrap metal
  • The police and the Licensing Authority will have powers to enter and inspect sites including closure powers for unlicensed sites
  • A national register of licences will be maintained by the Environment Agency


There are two types of licence specified in the Act.

Site Licence 

You will need a site licence if you operate a site that is involved wholly or partly in the business of buying and selling scrap metal or in the business of motor salvage.  A site licence will also permit you to transport metal to and from the site from any local authority area.

Collectors Licence 

You will need a collector’s licence if you are a mobile scrap metal collector that does not have a permanent site and, for example, goes door to door.  The collector’s licence will allow you to collect scrap in Gloucester only.  It does not allow you to collect scrap in any other local authority area.  If you intend to collect in other areas, you will need a licence from the respective local authority for that area.

It is not allowable to hold both a Site Licence and a Collectors Licence issued by the same authority. You must decide which licence is most appropriate to your business.

Businesses that are exempt:

Businesses where the commercial gain from buying or selling of scrap metal is only a minimal part of overall business dealing are not likely to be considered as a scrap metal dealer. The following are examples of businesses which are likely to not need to hold a scrap metal dealers licence:

  • Manufacturers that sell scrap metal only as a by-product or as surplus materials to the products that they manufacture.
  • Skip Hire companies where the collection of scrap metal is only a minimal part of their overall business.
  • Trades persons such as plumbers or electricians that sell on a small amount of waste scrap from their business.

Disclosure certificate

The licence application includes a requirement for the applicant and, where appropriate, company directors and site managers to submit a Basic Disclosure Certificate in order to demonstrate that they are a suitable persons to hold a licence. You may apply to Disclosure and Barring Service for a certificate.


Schedule of fees (PDF, 96.4 KB)

Home Office guidance

The Home Office has produced useful guidance to assist applicants and Licensing Authorities with the implementation of the new Act. 

Further advice

For more information please contact the Community Wellbeing Team on 01452 396678 or

To make an application or vary your licence please use the links at the top of this page