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Scrap metal dealers licence

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Any business or person that buys or sells scrap metal must apply for a licence with their local authority by completing the following online form:

GOV.UK - Apply for a scrap metal dealers licence

Alternatively you can download and complete the Icon for pdf scrap metal dealers licence application form [274.24KB] and return to:

Licensing Services, Environmental Health, Town Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston,PR1 2RL.

Scrap metal licensing

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 was introduced in response to the growth in metal theft offences, driven by increased commodity costs, which in addition to the direct impact on the victims of theft have also had a damaging and disruptive effect on the country's infrastructure.

The previous regulation of the scrap metal industry consisting of a simple registration scheme did little to prevent this type of crime, hence the introduction of this new single regulatory regime for the scrap metal recycling and vehicle dismantling industries.

The 2013 Act received Royal Assent on 28 February 2013 and replaced the registration requirements for scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators from 1 October 2013.

Applications are now made for site licences and collector's licences under the new legislation. Those registered under the previous legislation before 1 October 2013 had until 15 October 2013 to submit an application for either a site licence or a collector's licence under the new legislation in order to remain licensed pending the determination of that application.

Enforcement of the new regime commenced on 1 December 2013.

The ability to regulate who is, and who is not, a scrap metal dealer is designed to improve the operating standards of those dealers who do not operate in the same way as the majority of reputable dealers.

The transition from the requirement on dealers to hold a licence provides an opportunity to ensure that those dealers who have been operating illegally are no longer able to do so. The 2013 Act aims to raise standards across the scrap metal industry by requiring more detailed and accurate records of transactions to be kept. Dealers are also  required to verify the identity of those selling metal to them.

The cashless trading measures brought into force via the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 are incorporated into the Scrap metal Dealers Act 2013 thereby closing any loopholes in the earlier legislation by drawing vehicle dismantlers and former itinerant collectors into the cashless trading regime.

Do I need a Licence to carry on as a scrap metal dealer?

Yes. A person cannot carry on business as a scrap metal dealer unless authorised by a Licence issued under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

A person who carries on business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence will be committing a criminal offence.

What is the meaning of "carrying on a business as a scrap metal dealer"?

A person carries on 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 business as a motor salvage operator (so far as that does not fall within 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 as 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).

A "scrap metal dealer" is a person who carries on the business as a scrap metal dealer, whether or not authorised by a licence.

I am a tradesman and I sometimes sell left over metal, do I need to be licensed?

Where the sale of metal is incidental to the main type of work you do, then a licence will not be needed.

In the case of most tradesmen such as plumbers and electricians and some skip hire firms the sale of scrap metal is not an integral part of their business and they will not require to be licensed as a scrap metal dealer.

What is the definition of scrap metal?

(a) Any old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material, and

(b) 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.

But the following are not to be regarded as scrap metal:

(a) Gold,

(b) Silver, and

(c) Any alloy of which 2 per cent or more by weight is attributable to gold or silver.

Are there different types of licences available?

Yes. There are two types of Licences, one for a site and the other for a mobile collector (for those carrying on business otherwise than at a site).

A site licence allows you to buy and sell scrap metal from a fixed location within the council 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 in order to sell it.

You may only hold one type of licence in any one council area, but you can apply to include multiple sites in that area on the one site licence.

What is the fee payable for a licence?

Licence typefee
Three year site licence£505
Three year collector's licence£126.50
Variation of a site licence£91
Variation of a collector's licence£60.50
Renewal of a site licence£485
Renewal of collector's licence£101

How do I apply for a licence?

To apply for a scrap metal dealers licence please complete the online form:

GOV.UK - Apply for a scrap metal dealers licence

Alternatively you can download and complete the  scrap metal dealers licence application form [274.24KB] and return to:

Licensing Services, Environmental Health, Town Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston,PR1 2RL.

Your application form should include the appropriate fee and relevant accompanying documentation for all individuals associated with the application.

What do I have to submit with my application form?

We cannot issue a licence unless we are satisfied that you are 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.

Therefore as part of the application process you will be asked to provide a Basic Disclosure certificate with the application form for each of the applicants (as well as supplying one for each of the proposed Site Managers). This is to enable us to determine whether or not any person(s) proposed has a relevant conviction.

Any Certificate submitted to us will need to be no more than three months old and we will return these to applicants once we have considered them. The Certificates contains details of unspent convictions included on the Police National Computer as of the date the certificate is issued.

In assessing an applicant's suitability the Council will consider any other information it considers relevant from the Police and Environment Agency.

How do I obtain a Basic Disclosure Certificate?

GOV.UK - request a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

You will need to pay them a fee of £23.

What if I have unspent convictions?

If your Basic Disclosure Certificate reveals an unspent relevant conviction we may seek additional information from the police to enable us to better assess your suitability.

Once we have received your basic disclosure certificate we will compare it with the relevant offences/enforcement action prescribed in The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (Prescribed Relevant Offences and Relevant Enforcement Action) Regulations 2013.

We may also check the Environment Agency public registers to see if they have taken any enforcement action.

It is important to bear in mind that even if you have been convicted of a relevant offence this is not automatic grounds for refusing you a licence. However, if we are minded to refuse an application for a licence we will give applicants an opportunity to make representations to support their application probably at a hearing before a panel of elected councillors.

What happens if you refuse my Licence application ?

Appeals against a decision by the Council to refuse an application, to impose a condition on the licence or to revoke or vary a licence are to Preston Magistrates' Court.

You will have twenty one days from the day on which you were given notice of the decision in which to appeal.

Once granted how long does the Licence last for?

These licences will last for three years.

What records is a scrap metal dealer required to keep ?

The 2013 Act introduced the requirement for scrap metal dealers to record information with respect of the receipt and disposal of metal for a period of three years.

If a scrap metal dealer receives any scrap metal in the course of a dealer's business, the dealer must record the following information:-

  • 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;
  • The date and time of its receipt;
  • If the metal is delivered in or on a vehicle, the registration number of the vehicle;
  • If the metal is received from a person, the full name and address of that person;
  • 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 and address of that person;
  • If the dealer pays for the metal by cheque, the dealer must keep a copy of the cheque; and
  • If the dealer pays for the metal by electronic transfer the dealer must keep the receipt identifying the transfer, or if no receipt identifying the transfer was obtained, the dealer must record particulars identifying the transfer

A scrap metal dealer must also keep the following records with respect of the disposal of metal. For these purposes metal is disposed of whether or not it is in the same form in which it was received; and whether or not the disposal is to another person; and whether or not the metal is despatched from a site.

Where the disposal is in the course of business under a site licence, records include:-

  • The description of the metal, including its type (or types if mixed), form and weight;
  • The date and time of its disposal;
  • If the disposal is to another person, the full name and address of that person; and
  • If the dealer receives payment for the metal (whether by way of sale or exchange), the price or other consideration received.

Where the disposal is in the course of business under a collector's licence, records include:-

  • The date and time of the disposal; and
  • If the disposal is to another person, the full name and address of that person.

Can I vary a Licence?

Dealers can apply to vary a licence from a site licence to a collector's licence and visa versa.

Additionally, a variation in a site licence has to be applied for where there are any changes relating to the name of the licence holder; any change in the sites from which the licence holder is authorised to carry on business and any change in the details of a site manager.

In the case of a collector's licence a variation has to be applied for where there is a change in the details relating to the name of the licence holder.

Please place any requests for a variation of a licence in writing and send to, Licensing Services, Environmental Health, Town Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston,PR1 2RL.

Should you cease to carry on the business of a scrap metal dealer you must also inform us of that fact within 28 days.

Do I need to display my Licence?

Yes. If you have a Site Licence you must ensure that 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.

What conditions will appear on a licence?

Our ability to impose licence conditions is very limited. They can only be imposed where an applicant or any site manager has been convicted of a relevant offence, or, where the Council is revoking a licence a condition can be imposed until the revocation comes into effect. However, we can impose one or both of two conditions specifying that:-

  • The dealer can receive scrap metal only between 9.00am and 5.00pm on any day, in effect limiting the dealer's operating hours: and/or
  • Any scrap metal received has to be kept in the form the dealer received it for a set period of time, which cannot be more than 72 hours.

Can I pay cash for scrap?

No. It is an offence under the Act to pay cash for scrap metal.

You can only pay via the below methods:

(a) By a cheque which under section 81A of the Bills of Exchange Act 1882 is not transferable, or

(b) By an electronic transfer of funds (authorised by credit or debit card or otherwise).

Offences and penalties

Enforcement of the 2003 Act will commence on 1 December 2013. See Legislation - Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

Rights of entry

The 2013 Act provides right of entry to police constables and Council officers to enter and inspect licensed sites.

Will tacit consent apply ?

No, after the expiry of 28 days your licence will not be deemed to be granted. We will only grant a licence when we are satisfied with the applicant's suitability to hold a licence.

Complaints

If you feel we have failed to provide you with a good service or are concerned about the progress of your application then please telephone the Licensing Manager on 01772 906114 who will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have.

If you wish to complain about a scrap metal dealer, for example that someone is operating an unlicensed business, or you are disturbed by noise, pollution etc then please contact us.

Trade associations

 

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