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Scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (opens new window) (the 'Act') replaced the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 and Part 1 of the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 (in relation to Motor Salvage Operators) in October 2013.

Provisions of the new Act include the following:

  • The requirement for scrap metal dealers to satisfy their local authority that they are a legitimate trader;
  • All sellers of metal must provide verifiable ID at point of sale which is recorded and retained by the dealer;
  • A cash-less offence will apply to all scrap metal dealers including 'mobile/itinerant collectors' who conduct house to house collections;
  • There will be a single national publicly available register of all licensed scrap metal dealers.

Under the Act we must not issue a licence unless we are satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer. In the case of a partnership this means assessing the suitability of each of the partners in the partnership, while in the case of a company it means assessing the suitability of any directors, company secretaries or shadow director.

Therefore as part of the application process the applicant will be required to provide a Basic Disclosure certificate the result of which must be no older than three months at the date of application. A Basic Disclosure certificate can be applied for with the Disclosure and Barring Service (opens new window)

4 April 2022 changes

From 4 April 2022, the rules changed for certain scrap metal site and collector licence applications. Licensing authorities must carry out extra checks if an individual, company or any type of partnership applies for a licence either for the first time or of the same type they have already held but which has not been valid for a year or more. First-time applicants must provide the Licensing Authority to which they are applying confirmation that they are aware of the guidance about their tax obligations. If you, as the applicant are a partner in a partnership, you can give confirmation on behalf of all the other partners. 

This means you now may need to complete a tax check as part of your application. A tax check confirms that you're registered for tax, if necessary. It will ask questions about how you pay any tax that may be due on income you earn from your licensed trade. You must carry out the tax check yourself. You cannot ask a tax agent, adviser or this Licensing Authority to do this on your behalf. After you complete the tax check you'll be given a 9-character code. This is your tax check code. You must provide your tax check code to this Licensing Authority with your application — we will not be able to process your application without it. Tax check codes expire after 120 days, so if you make a licence application for another licence after that time, you'll need to carry out a new tax check (opens new window) for it.

For clarity applicants only need a tax code when renewing a licence, applying for the same type of licence you have held before that ceased to be valid within the last 12 months or if you hold the same type of licence with another Licensing Authority. If it's a brand new application you do not need a tax code, just need to sign your application form to confirm you are aware of your tax obligations.

Please note that the HMRC has powers to obtain information from licensing authorities: Schedule 23 to Finance Act 2011 (Data Gathering Powers) and Schedule 36 to Finance Act 2008 (Information and Inspection Powers), grant HMRC powers to obtain relevant information from third parties. This includes licensing bodies being required to provide information about licence applicants.


The fees for applications under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 in Chichester are:

  • Site Licence (new or renewal) £640.00
  • Collector's Licence (new or renewal) £421.00
  • Variation of Site/Collector's Licence £348.00
  • Change of name or address £59.00
  • Replacement Licence (copy) £59.00

As from 1 November 2022 this authority no longer accepts cheques.

Scrap Metal Dealer Act 2022 Application Form (V2) (Word doc) [245KB]

Local Government Association Guidance

The Local Government Association has provided some helpful guidance to assist applicants and Local Authorities with the implementation of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

BMRA Information (PDF) [276KB]

Home Office Guidance of selling scrap for cash (Oct 2012) (PDF) [197KB]

Local Government Association (LGA) Guidance: Fees (PDF) [140KB]

Local Government Association Guidance (PDF) [567KB]

Scrap Metal Dealer Act 2022 Application Form (V2) (Word doc) [245KB]

Summary document on the Scrap Metal Dealers Act (PDF) [103KB]


Contact us 

For further information and advice email Alternatively, you can phone us on 01243 534601.