Scrap metal dealers guidance
The information is provided as guidance only and is not intended to be either a comprehensive nor exhaustive explanation of the requirements and obligations under the relevant pieces of legislation.
If you have any queries please contact Mid Devon District Council. Alternatively, you may also wish to consider other sources of assistance, such as independent legal advice.
Yes – a person will not be able to carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer unless authorised by a licence issued under the Act
A person who carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer in breach of this is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
A person carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer if they:
(a) Carry on a business which consists wholly or partly in buying or selling scrap metal, whether or not the metal is sold in the form in which it was bought; or
(b) Carry on a business as a motor salvage operator (so far as it does not fall into paragraph (a)).
For the purposes of (a) a person who manufactures articles is not regarded as selling scrap metal if that person sells scrap metal only a by-product of manufacturing articles or as surplus materials not required for manufacturing them.
For the purposes of (b) a person carries on business as a motor salvage operator if the person carries on a business which consists:
(a) Wholly or partly in recovering salvageable parts from motor vehicles for re-use or sale and subsequently selling or otherwise disposing of the rest of the vehicle for scrap;
(b) Wholly or mainly in buying written-off vehicles and subsequently repairing and reselling them;
(c) Wholly or mainly in buying or selling motor vehicles which are to be the subject (whether immediately or on a subsequent re-sale) of any of the activities mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b); or
(d) Wholly or mainly in activities falling within paragraphs (b) and (c).
Scrap metal includes:
- 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 owner as having reached the end of its useful life.
But the following are not to be regarded as scrap metal:
- Silver, and
- any alloy of which 2% or more by weight is attributable to gold or silver
Yes. There are two types of licence – one for a site and the other for a mobile collector (for those carrying on a business otherwise than at a site).
A site licence allows you to buy and sell scrap metal from a fixed location within the council’s area. Each site will have a nominated site manager included on the licence.
A collector’s licence allows you to travel within the council area to collect scrap metal. You may not take this metal back to a site that you run within the council area to sell it.
You may only apply for one type of licence within each council area but you can apply to include multiple sites in that area on the one licence. If you are a collector you will need a separate licence for each council area you collect in.
The Act states that a council cannot issue a licence unless it is satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to carry on the business of a scrap metal dealer.
In the case of a partnership this means assessing the suitability of each of the partners in the partnership, while in the case of a company it means assessing the suitability of any directors, company secretaries or shadow directors.
In order for us to do this as part of the application process you will have to provide a Basic Disclosure Certificate (available from www.disclosurescotland.co.uk/apply/individuals ) with the application from for each of the above in relation to your business. You will also need to provide a disclosure for each of your site managers. This will enable us to determine whether or not anyone has a relevant conviction. Refusing to provide a Basic Disclosure Certificate would be grounds under paragraph 4(2) of Schedule 1 of the Act for the council to decline to proceed with the application.
Any Certificate produced will need to be no more than three months old and we will return these to applicants once we have dealt with them.
In assessing an applicant’s suitability the council can consider any information it considers relevant. Applicants’ behaviour in the operation of their business, such as the fact they have been operating for a considerable period of time without planning permission for their site, or that they are not registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) under the Data Protection Act, could be factors that are considered.
Yes. The fee will allow local authorities to recover costs stemming from administering and seeking compliance with the regime. The current fee is available on our website.
We will notify you that we are proposing to refuse your application. We will give you 21 days to make representations against this. If you do we will convene a Regulatory Sub Committee to consider your representations and will give you the opportunity to come and make them orally. Should the Sub Committee decide to refuse your licence application you then have 21 days in which you may appeal to the Magistrates Court.
Once granted a licence will last for three years and then lapse. You will need to apply to renew it before it lapses.
Under the Act you are required to notify us of any changes which would materially affect the accuracy of the information you provided to us in the making of your original application. This has to be provided within 28 days of the changes occurring. You will be able to do this by applying to vary your licence and there is a fee for this.
The options for variation are:
Change of licensee’s details (name or address)
Change from a site licence to a collector’s licence (or vice versa)
Changes to the sites licensed (adding, removing or changing details)
Change of site managers
Should you cease to carry on the business of a scrap metal dealer you must also inform us of that fact within 28 days.
Yes. If you have a site licence you must ensure a copy is displayed at each site identified in the licence in a prominent place in an area accessible to the public.
If you have a collector’s licence you must ensure that a copy is displayed on any vehicle that is being used in the course of your business in a manner which enables it to be easily read by a person outside the vehicle.
No. It is an offence under the Act to pay cash for scrap metal. You can only pay by the following methods:
By a cheque which, under section 81A of the Bills of Exchange Act 1882, is not transferable, or
By an electronic transfer of funds (authorised by credit or debit card of otherwise).
The Act states a scrap metal dealer must record the following information:
(a) The description of the metal, including its type (or types if mixed), form, condition, weight and any marks identifying previous owners or other distinguishing features;
(b) The date and time of its receipt;
(c) If the metal is delivered in or on a vehicle, the registration mark (within the meaning of section 23 of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994) of the vehicle;
(d) If the metal is received from a person, the full name and address of that person;
(e) If the dealer pays for the metal, the full name of the person who makes the payment acting for the dealer.
If the dealer receives the metal from a person, the dealer must keep a copy of any document which the dealer uses to verify the name or address of that person.
If the dealer pays for the metal by cheque, the dealer must keep a copy of that cheque. If the dealer pays for the metal by electronic transfer:
(a) The dealer must keep the receipt identifying the transfer, or
(b) If no receipt identifying the transfer was obtained, the dealer must record particulars identifying the transfer.
If a dealer disposes of scrap metal under a site licence they must record the following information:
(a) The description of the metal, including its type (or types if mixed), form and weight;
(b) The date and time of its disposal;
(c) If the disposal is to another person, the full name and address of that person;
(d) If the dealer receives payment for the metal (whether by way of sale or exchange), the price or other consideration received.
If a dealer disposes of scrap metal under a collector’s licence they must record the following information:
(a) The date and time of the disposal
(b) If the disposal is to another person, the full name and address of that person.
The dealer must keep the information and other records mentioned above for a period of three years beginning on the day on which the metal is received or (as the case may be) disposed of.
A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.