Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

In October 2013, a new law was passed in the UK to help lower scrap metal theft. New fines of up to £5,000 were brought in, designed to stamp out the theft of all scrap metals in the UK.

A New Law

Under this new law, a license from the local council is required to deal in scrap metal. These licenses last for three years, with the price varying from council to council. 

In addition to the issue of a new license, local councils can revoke licenses to users who are not complying with the new rules. 

The license must also be displayed in a prominent position at the scrap location, and be provided to anyone that requests to see it. Failure to comply with these parameters may result in sanctions from the local council.

Click here to see which council issues your license.

Once a license has been procured, scrap dealers have more responsibility. Full details of the seller and the metal they are providing must be recorded, including:

  • a full description of the product, including the type of metal purchased, condition, and any distinguishing marks.

  • the date and time.

  • the registration of the vehicle that delivered the load.

  • the full details of the seller, including a name and address.

  • the name of the representative making the sale, if this is on behalf of the seller.

In addition to this, sellers must keep full records of all scrap metal being disposed of, including:

  • a description of the metal, including form and weight.

  • the date and time the metal was disposed of.

  • the full name and address of all parties involved in the transaction.

  • if payment was made for disposal, the price paid.

A national register of all scrap dealers is now available here.


The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 gives local authorities the ability to inspect premises where they suspect illegal activity is taking place.

Also, magistrates now can inflict a fine of up to £5,000 on a scrap metal dealer who deals in cash.

To find out more, click here.

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