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Duties on scrap metal dealers

Licensed scrap metal dealers have a number of legal duties and responsibilities which must be carried out. This page provides details of the main duties, and we advise that all dealers familiarise themselves with this page, and seek advice if they are unclear about any of the contents.


Payment for scrap metal (including for end-of-life vehicles) must be made by non-transferrable cheque or by bank transfer only. It is a criminal offence for any payment to be made by cash, or by other payment types. Licensed dealers must keep details of every payment made in their records, including copies of cheques or bank receipts.

This requirement applies to metal received both at sites and by mobile collectors. Collectors must ensure that they are able to keep the necessary records while travelling around.

Display of licence

Dealers must ensure that copies of the licence issued by us are prominently displayed:

  • for site licences, at each site operated under the licence
  • for collector's licences, in the window of every vehicle operated under the licence

Record keeping

Dealers are required to keep records of every transaction they make, in which they receive or dispose of any scrap metal. The details which must be recorded are set out in the Act, and we have produced guidance notes summarising these requirements.

 Guidance for scrap metal dealers on record keeping (PDF 172KB)

Records must be kept securely for three years, and may be inspected by police or council officers within this period.

Verifying the identity of suppliers

Dealers are required to verify the identity of every person who supplies them with scrap metal. Under regulations made by the Secretary of State, this means that certain forms of identification must be seen and copied by the dealer for each transaction where they receive metal - irrespective of whether they are making a payment for it.

More information about the types of identification that can be accepted is provided in our guidance notes on record keeping, available above.

This requirement applies to metal received both at sites and by mobile collectors. Collectors must ensure that they are able to keep the necessary records while travelling around.


From time to time, licensed sites may be inspected by police or council officers to ensure that licence-holders are complying with their legal responsibilities. Generally, we will give advance notice of these inspections, and we will aim to give advice on how to rectify any breaches observed. However, if we are investigating complaints or allegations about breaches of licences, then we may carry out inspections without advance notice.

During inspections, we may inspect any metal kept at the site, and any records which the dealer is required to keep. We may also require collectors to produce their records for inspection.

We may also inspect an unlicensed site under a warrant, if we believe that it is being used unlawfully, and we may take action to close such sites down.

Notifying us of certain events

You can apply to us to vary your licence if:

  • you change your name or address
  • you open new sites, close old sites, or make any other changes to the sites currently listed on your licence
  • there are any changes to the details of the site managers listed on your licence, or if you replace a site manager with a different person
  • you wish to change your licence type from a collector's licence to a site licence, or vice versa

The application form for making variation applications is available on our scrap metal licences page.

Licences are non-transferable. If you decide to sell your licensed business, the new owner must apply for a new licence of their own before they are able to take it over.

You must also let us know if any of the following occur:

  • while making an application for a licence, if there are any changes which materially affect the information given in your application (must notify as soon as possible)
  • if you cease trading in Dacorum (must notify within 28 days)
  • any change to your trading name (must notify within 28 days)

Revocation of licence

We may take action to revoke a licence, if any of the following circumstances apply:

  • if the licence-holder is no longer carrying on business at any of the sites listed in the licence
  • if a site manager listed in the licence is no longer responsible for any of the sites listed in the licence
  • if we are satisfied that the licence-holder is no longer suitable to hold a licence, by reason of convictions, cautions, licence breaches or other matters.

Revocation is a last resort, and we will give licensees the opportunity to make representations before making any final decision. A right of appeal will be available against any decision to revoke a licence.

If the licence-holder or a site manager is convicted of a relevant offence, we may add conditions to the licence restricting how the business may be carried on, as an alternative to revocation.

Page Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 November 2016 at 05:01 PM