Scrap metal dealers

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

Do you buy, sell or collect Scrap Metal?

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 came into effect on 1st October 2013. The legislation requires that any persons collecting, buying or selling scrap metal require a Scrap Metal Dealer Licence that will be issued by this council. There is a charge for this licence.

There are two types of licence:

  • site licence
  • collector’s licence

Apply for a licence

An application needs to be made for your licence and a fee will be payable to the Council. You will also need to submit a basic criminal record disclosure form no older than a month as part of the application process. Any persons who carry out business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence may be liable on conviction to maximum fine of £5,000.

You can only hold one type of licence in any one local authority's area; definitive guidance is awaited as to site licences allowing the licensee to collect scrap. It is anticipated that a site licence will allow you to collect scrap in your local authority area.

Your collector’s licence will allow you to collect scrap only within the authority area that it was issued. You will need to apply for collector’s licences from separate authorities should you wish to operate in more than one Council area.

Please note these do not replace the Waste Carrier’s Licence. To collect scrap in the Tamworth area you will be required to hold a licence issued by the relevant Council and a Waste Carriers Licence that is issued by the Environment Agency.

Scrap Metal Dealers Tax Conditionality

The government has put in place new tax requirements for scrap metal licence applications from 4 April 2022. This is supported by a new digital service from HMRC. It helps people in the scrap metal industry to complete the new tax check.

Most people are registered to pay tax and this is about ensuring everyone pays the tax they should, creating a level playing field for the compliant majority. HMRC are working with industry bodies to make this as straightforward as possible. The check should take a few minutes every few years and is simply to confirm that someone is appropriately registered for tax.

An individual, company or any type of partnership must complete a tax check when:

  • renewing a licence
  • applying for the same type of licence they have previously held, that ceased to be valid less than a year ago
  • applying for the same type of licence they already hold with another licensing authority

Please refer to the Tax Check Factsheet so you understand what is required as this will apply to all renewals. 

If you have any further questions, please find more information at Changes for scrap metal licence applications from April 2022 or contact the Licensing Team.


Grant Site Licence


Additional Site(s)


Renewal Site Licence


Variation Site Licence


Grant Collectors Licence


Renewal Collectors Licence


Variation Collectors Licence


Replacement or copy licence


Change of licence details (Trading Name, address etc)


Change of Site Manager


Change of Site 


Change Collectors to Site Licence


Change Site to Collectors Licence



Scrap metal guidance - public

 Do you allow scrap metal collectors to take metal from your property?

Do you put scrap metal out at the front of your property and allow it to be taken by the mobile collectors? Did you know that you are committing an offence by doing so? Did you know the law is changing soon and it is important you are aware of these changes?

From the 1st October 2013 new legislation came into force in respect of Scrap Metal Dealers. This includes the collectors that regularly come around the area and help themselves to any scrap metal they see. From October these collectors will all need to be licensed with the Local Authority they are operating within.

The main change that you will notice is that it will be classed as theft of metal if anyone takes any metal from you without getting your permission and copies of documents showing your name and address (ie: passport, driving licence, utility bill etc.) If you are unsure about the collector there should be a copy of the licence being displayed within the vehicle visible from the outside.

If in any doubt do not let them take the metal. There will be enough licensed dealers who will be able to help you.