Scrap metal licences

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 introduces one operating licence for both Scrap Metal Dealers and Motor Salvage Operators.

Under the Act, we can, for example, refuse a licence, or revoke a licence, if the Dealer is 'unsuitable', or is not fulfilling the requirements set out in their application. Together with the Police, we have powers to enter and inspect all scrap metal premises in Eden.

Main requirements of the Act

  • Motor Salvage Operators are now included;

  • There is now a requirement for all Scrap Metal Dealers to complete appropriate applications and disclosures and satisfy their local authority that they are genuine traders;

  • All new applicants and applicants renewing their licence must apply for a Basic Disclosure Certificate. You can apply online. All named people on the application form must apply and provide us with a certificate, this includes the site manager and director;

    Read about requesting a basic DBS check on GOV.UK, and find out what you need to apply for Basic Disclosure Certificate.

  • From 4 April 2022, there will be changes to scrap metal licence applications. New rules state individuals, companies, or any type of partnerships applying for a scrap metal site or collector licence may now need to complete a tax check. The tax check will ask questions about how you pay any tax that may be due on income you earn from your licensed trade. Not everybody will need to complete this check, but you will if you are:
    • renewing the same licence (site or collector)
    • applying for the same type of licence you previously held, that ceased to be valid (or lapsed) less than a year ago
    • applying for the same type of licence you already hold with another licensing authority.

    Complete the tax check on GOV.UK and read the qualifying criteria and further information about the new tax check.

  • All sellers of scrap metal must provide ID at the point of sale, record it and retain it. This may be inspected by the Police and Local Authority at any time;

  • You cannot pay for scrap metals in cash. BACS or cheque (or another electronic traceable method) are the methods to use. This will apply to all collectors of scrap metal;

  • There will be two licences available: a Site Licence or a Collector's Licence. Please see the table below for the cost of these licences.


Licence fees
Licence Fees
Site Licence (grant or renewal) £458
Site variation £128
Collectors Licence (grant or renewal) £291
Collectors Licence variation £105

Apply for a scrap metal dealer's licence

  1. Call us to speak to the Environmental Administration team who will take your details and send you an application pack in the post. This application pack will explain the application process and what we will need to receive from you and when, such as Disclosure Certificates and payment. Please do not send cash in the post.

  2. If you are a collector, you must come to Mansion House for the meeting. The Environmental Enforcement Officers will contact the applicant to arrange a meeting.

  3. At the meeting, the applicant must provide a form of identification, such as a passport, or photo card driving licence, to confirm their full name, date of birth and address. The Environmental Enforcement Officers will go through the requirements of the legislation and check that the applicant is aware of the law when operating as a Scrap Metal Dealer in Eden. At the meeting, you must produce your original Environment Agency permits, Waste Carrier's Licence and Basic Disclosure certificate, if you have not already provided it. It is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions that you may have.

  4. We aim to issue your licence within 5 working days, if approved. You must not operate in Eden until you have this licence.

Advice for the public

Eden has plenty of licensed Scrap Metal Dealers. However, some unlicensed Scrap Metal Dealers come to Eden to collect it illegally.

Unlicensed Scrap Metal Dealers take trade from our licensed Dealers who pay to have a licence in the District and to operate professionally and responsibly. Unlicensed Scrap Metal Dealers do not comply with the legal requirements of the law, for example, record keeping and verifying the identity of a seller.

To ensure that any scrap metal you may have is collected and disposed of appropriately, consider the following points:

  • Arrange for a licensed collector to collect your scrap metal, or take it to a registered site in Eden. A list of registered Dealers is available on the Environment Agency website.
  • A licensed collector will be able to show you their licence from Eden District Council. They will display it in their vehicle.
  • Avoid leaving scrap metal on pavements, or areas clearly open to the public view. This attracts unlicensed Dealers to enter your property, even if you are not at home, and may encourage theft. You are responsible for your scrap metal. If your scrap metal has disappeared, there is a high chance that somebody without a licence has taken it. When your scrap metal is collected, the Dealer must ask you for identification, such as a driver's licence, or passport, and record this information to prove whom they have collected scrap metal from. If they do not ask for this, they are breaking the law, even if they do not pay you for the scrap.
  • You cannot receive cash for any scrap you sell.

The Environmental Enforcement Officers will be happy to discuss any questions or concerns from residents in Eden. The Environmental Enforcement Officers will also accept reports of unlicensed Dealers operating in the area and will share information with Cumbria Police.

Useful links:

Last updated: Wednesday, 5 June, 2024.