Scrap Metal Dealers

As of 1st October 2013 The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 came into force.

Please select from the options below:

Do I need a licence to deal in Scrap metal?

If you are a person who is carrying on a business as a Scrap Metal Dealer, whether or not authorised by a licence, you will require either a Scrap Metal Dealer's Site Licence or a Scrap Metal Collector's Licence within each district you trade in.

Each licence lasts for three years.

If you apply for a Scrap Metal Site Licence this covers you to collect anywhere within England or Wales as long as the collection is by arrangement only and not door to door collections.

The definition of a Scrap Metal Dealer is 'someone carrying on a business which consists wholly or in part of buying or selling scrap metal whether or not the metal is sold in the form in which it is bought'.

Mobile collectors and site licence holders need to ensure they comply with relevant environmental legislation and regulation when carrying out their business.  An Environmental Permit or exemption is required for a site licence and a Waste Carrier's licence may be required for a collector's licence.  You will need to check with the  Environment Agency .

Scrap Metal Dealer's Site Licence

If you trade from a fixed location within the South Holland District Council area, you need to apply for a Scrap Metal Dealer's Site Licence.

If a site licence holder uses self-employed collectors to collect scrap metal which will be processed by the site, each collector will require a collector's licence.

We advise you to contact South Holland District Council's Planning Service or Lincolnshire County Council's Planning Service  to check that you have the correct planning permission for your property.

Scrap Metal Collector's Licence

This is a person that carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer otherwise than at a site, and regularly engages in the course of that business in collecting waste materials and old broken/worn out or defaced articles by means of door to door visits.

A collector will need a licence to buy or sell any scrap metal collected.  Even if the material is provided free of charge, a licence is required in order to sell it on.

A collector's licence will cover any employees working for that business.  If they are not employed directly by that collector's business and are self-employed, they will need their own collector's licence even if they are collecting metal from the same van as a person who has a collector's licence.

What is classed as Scrap Metal?

Scrap Metal is defined as:

'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 only exemption to this is gold and silver, or any alloy which is 2% or more by weight attributable gold or silver.

How do I apply for a Scrap Metal Dealer's Licence?

Please complete the Icon for pdf Scrap Metal Dealers Application Form [136.56KB]  .

Along with this application form, you must submit all supporting documentation.  Applications without all supporting documents will not be accepted.

Supporting Documentation:

  • Basic Criminal record, not older than three months old on the date of application. This can be obtained from Basic Disclosure
  • The appropriate fee
    • £337.00 for a Scrap Metal Site Licence
    • £236.00 for a Scrap Metal Collector's Licence
  • A passport size photograph for a collector's licence.
  • Photographic Identification for both licences i.e. passport or DVLA driver's licence photo card.  If you do not have a passport or DVLA licence photo card you will need to get a photograph endorsed as a true likeness by a solicitor, notary, lecturer or other professional person (Icon for pdf Scrap Metal Photo Endorsement Form [50.97KB])

Will I be granted my Scrap Metal Dealer's Licence?

The Local Authority can consider any information it deems relevant to assess the applicant's suitability to be issued a Scrap Metal Dealer's Licence.

This may include:

  • Criminal Records Check, relevant convictions of the Operator or Site Manager.
  • The applicant has been refused/or had revoked a scrap metal dealers licence.
  • The applicant has been refused a relevant permit or registration.

What are the relevant offences?

The Icon for pdf Scrap Metal Relevant Offences document [28.35KB] lists these.

Do I need a licence to transport Scrap Metal?

You may need to be registered with the  Environment Agency  for a waste carrier's licence.

They can be contacted on 03708 506 506.

What happens if I do not apply for a Scrap Metal Dealer's Licence?

If you trade in scrap metal without a valid licence in place, you will be committing a criminal offence.

This may lead to prosecution and can lead to an unlimited fine.

How do I check if a Scrap Metal Dealer is licensed?

A licensed collector will display a valid photographic collector's licence issued by South Holland District Council - this notice should be visible to you from outside their vehicle and will include the Council logo.

A South Holland District Council licensed site must display a copy of its licence that can be seen by the general public.

The Environmental Agency have a Public Register for all Licences.

If you think that you have been approached by an unlicensed Scrap Metal Dealer, please report it to Lincolnshire Police on 101 or phone 01775 761161 or email

What other changes will affect me as a member of the general public?

A collector can no longer pay you in cash for any scrap metal he collects from you.

Payment can only be made by electronic transfer or non transferable cheque.

When taking scrap to a licensed site, you will need to take formal ID with you, i.e. passport or DVLA driver's licence, and the Site Manager must record these details.

If you require further information please use the Licensing General Enquiry.