Apply for a scrap metal licence



The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (The Act) came into force on the 1 October 2013.

Since this date any persons collecting, buying or selling scrap in Waltham Forest will require a scrap metal dealer licence issued by the council.

Under The Act, the council must not issue a licence unless we are satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer.

Where a partnership is involved, it will be necessary to assess the suitability of each of the partners; and in the case of a company, it will involve assessing the directors, company secretary and any shadow director. As part of the new application process, the applicant will be required to provide a Basic Disclosure Certificate for these persons obtained from Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Please note:

  • Read the guidance notes provided
  • Download and complete the application form. All relevant parts must be completed. Incomplete applications cannot be considered
  • Basic disclosure certificates for every person listed on the application must be provided along with any other required documentation (see guidance notes)
  • Applications for a Collectors Licence must include a passport-size photograph of the applicant. A Collectors Licence will only be issued after photographic identification and proof of living at the address stated (such as utility bills) have been seen and verified by the Licensing Authority

The application along with the appropriate fee must be submitted in person or by post to:

The Licensing Service
Sycamore House
Waltham Forest Town Hall
Forest Road
London E17 4SU

Fees Click to get info

Licence Type Application Site Licence Collectors Licence
Grant £909 £309
Renewal £784 £230
Variation £141 £149
Vary Collector - Site - £903
Vary Site - Collector £141 -
Duplicate Licence £50 £50


Payments can be made online

Please note, under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, a scrap metal dealer must obtain a licence in order to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer. It is an offence to carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence. This offence is punishable on summary of conviction with a fine up to £5,000.

Please contact Waltham Forest Direct on 020 8496 3000 and ask for the licensing team in the first instance for matters concerning:

  • Licence holder redress
  • Failed application redress
  • Other redress - includes complaints relating to another aspect of the operation such as noise, pollution or public health

The 2 types of licences Click to get info

There are two new licences both of which will be valid for 3 years from the date of issue.

Site licence

  • A site licence will be required where a business is carried on as a scrap metal dealer at a premises
  • A site manager will be required to be named for each site
  • The licence holder will then be permitted to operate from that site as a scrap metal dealer including transporting to and from those sites from any local authority

Collector's licence

  • Authorises the licensee to operate as a mobile collector in the area of the issuing local authority, permitting them to collect scrap metal as appropriate
  • This includes commercial as well as domestic scrap metal
  • If a mobile collector operates within more than one local authority's district, a licence will be required for each authority in which he/she operates

Eligibility criteria Click to get info

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 brought, or

b) Carry on a 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 paragraph (a) or (b), or

d) Wholly or mainly 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.

Will tacit consent apply? Click to get info

No. Your registration will not be automatically granted as it is in the public interest that your application is processed before it can be granted to ensure public policy. If you have not heard from us within 28 days of submitting your application, please contact a member of the licensing service.

Changes in circumstances Click to get info

The registered dealer must notify the council of any changes in circumstances or if they cease to be a scrap metal licence holder. A fee may be required to perform any changes, please contact the council for information.

The new regime has been introduced to tackle the growth of metal theft offences. The Act aims to do this by raising trading standards across the scrap metal industry by:

  • Requiring all individuals and businesses to complete an enhanced application process to obtain a scrap metal licence. Local authorities will have the power to turn down unsuitable applicants
  • Giving local authorities the power to revoke a licence
  • Requiring all sellers of metal to provide personal identification at the point of sale, which is then recorded by the scrap metal dealer
  • Extending the offence of buying metal with cash to itinerant metal collectors
  • New powers for the police and local authorities to enter and inspect sites
  • Creating a central public register, hosted by the Environment Agency, of all individuals and businesses licensed as scrap metal dealers
  • Widening the definition of a scrap metal dealer to include motor salvage operators

See summary of the regulation relating to this licence on the Office of Public Sector information website.

Contact Click to get info

Waltham Forest Licensing Section
Resident Services
3 The Square
Leyton, London
E10 5NR

020 8496 3000