Motor salvage operators and scrap metal dealers registration

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 repealed the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 and Part 1 of the Vehicle (Crime) Act 2001 and created a revised regulatory regime for the scrap metal recycling and dismantling industries. It brought together scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators under the one Act. Local Authorities are the principal regulator, and the new Act has also provided Councils with the opportunity to better regulate these industries.  Most sections of the Act came into force on 1 October 2013. The remaining sections came into force on 1 December 2013.

Every scrap metal dealer is required to have a licence, and operating without one is a criminal offence.  The revised legislation prohibits scrap metal dealers from paying for scrap metal in cash; only permitting electronic payment or payment by cheque.  The new regime also places a duty on licence holders to maintain comprehensive records of all purchases and disposals of metal.

Further information on the legal duties of licence holders can be found in the Act and the accompanying guidance.

Tax Conditionality (from 4 April 2022) 

If you are applying to renew a scrap metal site or collector licence, or applying for a new licence which is the same type of licence you already hold with another authority, or it is for the same type of licence previously held with this authority, that ceased to be valid less than a year before the date of application, you must carry out a tax check via the online HMRC portal, and provide the authority with the 9-digit tax check code it provides you. Without this code it will not be possible for the authority to grant a scrap metal licence.

If you are applying for a new scrap metal dealer licence, and the points mentioned in the above paragraph do not apply, you will be required to sign a declaration confirming that you are aware of your need to register for tax purposes, and you will do so. This declaration will be contained on the application form.

Fees and Application Forms 

Applications for scrap metal dealers licences must be accompanied by a fee. The fee is set by the local authority having regard to guidance issued by the Home Office. Before completing your application, your attention is drawn to our privacy and data retention policy (PDF)

The licence will be valid for a period of three years. Applications must be accompanied by a Basic Disclosure certificate for each applicant, available from (external link)

Tacit consent does not apply, as it is in the public interest that East Cambridgeshire District Council must process your application before it can be authorised.  If you have not received a response to your application within a reasonable period, please contact us.  You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service (external link) or use the contact details below.

The Licensing Section, East Cambridgeshire District Council, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4EE
Tel: 01353 665555

If you are an applicant or a third party, you should always contact East Cambridgeshire District Council in the first instance if you have any queries, concerns or cause for complaint preferably in the form of a letter with proof of delivery.  If you are not satisfied with the outcome and are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Consumer Service (external link) will give you advice.  If you are from outside the UK, please contact the UK European Consumer Centre (external link).

Public Register

Further Information

EUGO website (external link)GOV.UK website (external link)