Scrap metal licence

To provide a business as a scrap metal dealer, you will need a licence under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, if you intend to:

  • wholly or partly buy or sell scrap metal (whether or not the metal is sold in a different form to which it was bought)
  • act as a motor salvage operator

You will also need:

  • a site licence - to carry out the business from any site within the borough
  • mobile collector's licence -  to act as a mobile collector within the borough

Site licences

A site licence must be displayed in a prominent place and accessible to the public, at each site identified in the licence.

Mobile collector's licence

A mobile collector’s licence must be displayed on any vehicle that is being used in the course of the business and can be easily read by a person outside the vehicle.

A business cannot hold both types of licence from Harrow Council. If collections are made in another borough a licence is also needed from that council.

Buying and selling scrap metal

Businesses must not receive scrap metal from a person without verifying their name and address.

Keeping a record of scrap metal received

You must not buy scrap metal for cash and you need to ensure that you keep a record of all scrap metal you receive including:

  • a description stating type, form, condition, weight, any marks identifying previous owners or distinguishing features
  • the date and time
  • the registration mark of the vehicle it was delivered in or on
  • the full name and address of the person received from
  • the full name of the person who makes the payment acting for the dealer

Keeping a record of disposed scrap metal

You must keep a record of all scrap metal you dispose of including:

  • a description including type, form and weight (site licence holders only)
  • the date and time
  • the full name and address of the person disposed to
  • if payment is made (by sale or exchange), the price of other consideration received (site licence holders only)

You must keep your records for three years and allow the council or police to inspect your premises and records if asked.

Fines and penalties

You could be fined £5,000 if you don’t hold a licence. You must also comply with the following conditions:

  • you must not receive scrap metal except between 9am and 5pm on any day
  • all scrap metal must be kept in the form it was received up to 72 hours from when it was received

A council may revoke a licence at any time and close unlicensed sites.

To find out more see the Local Government Association Guide to the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

Commercial and Licensing team

Address: Harrow Council
PO Box 18
Civic Centre
Station Road