The Scrap Metal Dealers' Act 1964 requires any individual or business dealing in scrap metal to be registered with the city council as a scrap metal dealer. The Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 and the Motor Salvage Operators Regulations 2003 provide a separate framework for the registration of motor salvage operators.
The Government announced in March 2012 that it will be proposing changes to the registration scheme for scrap metal dealers. Some significant amendments have been brought into effect from 3rd December 2012 by sections 145 and 146 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.
The Scrap Metal Dealer's Act 2013 will replace these requirements when it comes into effect in the later part of 2013.
Scrap Metal Dealers' Act 1964
The legislation requires anyone who carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer to be registered with the city council if:
- a place in the city is occupied by them as a scrap metal store
- if they do not have a scrap metal store, their usual place of residence is in the city
- if they do not have a scrap metal store, but occupy a place in the city wholly or partly for the purposes of the business
Application for registration is by completion of the from (see documents below). The application does not currently attract a fee.
Registrations last for three years, and if not renewed by the scrap metal dealer, must be cancelled by the city council.
Requirements to keep records
Scrap metal dealers are required by section two of the Scrap Metal Dealers' Act 1964 to keep a book containing detailed records of all scrap metal received, processed or dispatched from any place occupied by them for the purposes of the scrap metal business. The records must give the following information:
- a description of the scrap metal and its weight;
- the date and time it was received;
- the full name and address of the person from whom it was received;
- the price payable for it or its value;
- if the scrap metal was delivered by vehicle, the registration number of that vehicle;
- the date the scrap metal was processed or dispatched;
- the full name and address of the person to whom the scrap metal was sold or exchanged and the price;
- if the scrap metal is disposed of otherwise than by sale or exchange, its value immediately before its disposal or processing.
Such record books must be kept for a minimum of two years after the last entry and any police officer has a right to inspect them at any reasonable time.
From 3rd December 2012, it is an offence to conduct scrap metal transactions in cash, unless the registered scrap metal deal is certified as being an itinerant dealer by the council as registration authority. The Police may object to such certification and, in such circumstances, the the matter would be determined by the Council's Licensing (General) Sub-Committee.
Please see the Home Office advice on cash transactions below. If the Scrap Metal Dealers' Bill (see below) becomes law, it would appear that all cash transactions would be prohibited at some future point.
The guidance provided in these pages is on a "best endeavours" basis - if you intend to make a business or other critical decision on a licensing matter, you must seek your own independent legal advice. City council officers cannot give you legal advice about your application.
Register entries for scrap metal dealers appear in the Online Licensing Register via the link above.