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Scrap Metal Dealers

In order to carry on a business as a Scrap Metal Dealer, you will need to be licensed by Torridge District Council. A scrap metal business is defined as - (a) a business consisting wholly or partly in buying or selling scrap metal, or (b) motor salvage. If your business falls into either of these categories you will need a licence.

Eligibility Criteria

There are two types of licence:

  • a Site Licence, and
  • a Collector's Licence

A Site Licence is required for all sites in the local authority area where scrap metal is bought and/or sold.  The fee for the grant/renewal of a Site Licence is £155.  The fee to vary a licence is £55.00.

A Collector's Licence is required by anyone who buys or collects scrap metal by visiting premises on a door-to-door basis.  The fee for the grant/renewal of a Collector's Licence is £105.  The fee to vary a licence is £55.00.

You may only hold one type of licence.

'Scrap metal' is defined in the Act as:

(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.

A licensed dealer must verify and record the identity of all persons from whom he/she purchases scrap metal.  All purchases of scrap metal must be paid for either by cheque or electronic transfer.  It is illegal to make cash payments.

A licensed dealer must keep records of all scrap metal received and disposed and must retain these records for a period of 3 years.

Further details can be found in the Act itself (see under Regulation Summary below).

Target completion period: we will aim to issue your licence within 4 working days of determination of your application. 

 Regulation Summary

A summary of the relevant legislation for this licence.

Application Evaluation Process

Applicants must provide the following information in their application:

  • their full name and address
  • in the case of a company, their registered or principal office
  • details of any company directors and company secretary
  • details of any site manager(s)
  • the address of each place used as a licensed site
  • details of any waste carrier registration issued by the Environment Agency
  • details of their trading bank account
  • a basic criminal disclosure obtainable from Disclosure Scotland (
  • a colour passport-size photograph of the applicant and any other persons named in the application

In determining whether an applicant is a suitable person to hold a licence, the local authority may have regard to any relevant information including convictions for relevant offences, any previous refusal of a licence application, any previous refusal of an environmental permit or registration and the applicant's procedures for compliance with the Act.  The authority may also consult other organisations such as the police, the Environment Agency, the Natural Resources Body for Wales and other local authorities.

If an applicant has been convicted of a relevant offence, the local authority may attach conditions to the licence restricting the hours of operation.

The local authority has the power to inspect licensed sites and can revoke a licence under certain circumstances.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No.  The Council will need to be satisfied that you are a suitable person to hold a licence before an authorisation is granted.

Apply Online

You can apply for a licence on-line Here or via the Related Links on the right.

Failed Application Redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Customer Complaint

If you have a complaint about a scrap metal dealer, please try to resolve this direct with the dealer in the first instance.  If you are unable to resolve the situation, please put your complaint in writing to the Licensing Team.

Other Redress

Please contact us so that we can put you in touch with the relevant person or organisation.

Trade Associations

British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA)

International Aluminium Institute

International Lead Association