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You are here:home > Business > Licensing > Scrap metal

Scrap metal licensing

Changes from 1 October 2013

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 received Royal Assent on 28 February 2013, and replaces the previous registration requirements for scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators from 1 October 2013. After that date, applications must be made for site licences and mobile dealer's licences 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 new licence under the legislation, in order to remain licensed pending the determination of that application.

The new legislation will be fully in force from 1 December 2013.

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 and Environment Agency.
  • There will be two categories of licence:
    • A site licence (may be for multiple sites within the council's area)
      • A "site" is any place occupied for the purposes of the scrap metal dealer's business; a site licence holder may collect scrap metal, but only by prior arrangement
    • A mobile collector’s licence (separate licences are required for each council area where collections take place)
      • A mobile collector must not occupy a site for the purposes of their scrap metal business, but may collect scrap metal without prior arrangement
  • Power for the 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)
  • The licence must be displayed at site or on mobile collector's vehicle where it can be read by the public
  • Sellers must produce prescribed personal ID (photo ID) and proof of address at the point of sale - the dealer must keep a record of the documents produced
  • There may be no cash purchases of scrap metal in any circumstances - payment must be by cheque or electronic transfer of funds
  • The Police and the council will have powers to inspect sites and records of scrap metal transactions
  • There will be a central on-line register of licences published by the Environment Agency
  • Application fees are set by each council
  • Closure Notice (from police or council) for unlicensed sites; Closure Orders (via Magistrates’ Court) if still used as such after seven days.
  • There will be Statutory Guidance from the Home Office to accompany the legislation.

An application form for a site or collector's licence appears below, together with links to the new legislation.

The fees for licence applications etc., will be as follows:

  • three-year site licence £450.00
  • three-year collector's licence £300.00
  • variation of licence £100.00
  • replacement licence £25.00

Applicants are strongly advised to seek their own independent legal advice before making application for a licence.


The Scrap Metal Dealer's Act 2013 replaces the Scrap Metal Dealers' Act 1964 and part 1 of the the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 (registration of motor salvage operators).

In addition to a licence under the 2013 Act, the following may be required:

  • a waste management licence or a hazardous waste licence from the Environment Agency
  • registration of the business with the Health and Safety Executive
  • planning permission for the use of any premises in connection with the business

Please see the links below for further information on each of these and other information about the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

The register of existing scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators in Southampton is available through the Online Licensing Register link above; an extract from the register appears below. The register of scrap metal dealer's licence under the 2013 Act will be kept by the Environment Agency - link below.

Data Protection

Please note that the licensing authority may be required by law to disclose to the appropriate authorities, from time to time, further information relating to applications and licences for the purposes of law enforcement and the prevention of fraud.

Contacting the Licensing Team

If you need to contact us by email, 'phone or post, please do so using the details below.

Opening hourslink to interactive parking map

Members of the Licensing Team are normally available on weekdays at the Civic Centre, Southampton SO14 7LY from 09:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00 to assist personal callers. We may be available at other times by prior appointment.

Downloadable documents

Contact information