Scrap metal site and collectors licences

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 came fully into force on 1 December 2013. The new legislation requires that anyone collecting or selling scrap in the borough has a Scrap Metal Dealer Licence issued by us. This page provides information on the Act, including an application form for a licence.

The new condition on HMRC tax checks, known as ‘Tax conditionality’

What’s changing

From 4 April 2022, You will need to complete a tax check with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when you renew your site or collectors licence to deal in scrap metal.

How changes may affect you

What you need to do will depend on whether you’re applying for a licence for the first time or whether you’re making a subsequent application, such as renewing a licence.
If you are applying for a licence for the first time, you will not need to complete the tax check. However, licensing bodies will ask you to read HMRC guidance on what you need to do to be properly registered for tax in the future and you’ll need to confirm you have done this.

Renewing a licence

From 4 April 2022, if you renew or apply for a subsequent licence under a different licensing body, you’ll have to do a tax check. You’ll be able to do this online through a digital service.

About the tax check

You will be able to complete this tax check on GOV.UK  through your Government Gateway account. You will only need to answer a few questions to tell HMRC how you pay any tax that may be due on income you earn from your licensed trade. If you do not already have a Government Gateway account, you can sign up on GOV.UK

The tax check should only take a few minutes. There’ll be guidance on GOV.UK and anyone who needs extra support will be able to complete the tax check by phone through HMRC’s customer helpline.

When you’ve completed the tax check, you’ll get a code. You must give this code to your licensing body. The licensing body cannot proceed with your licence application or renewal until the tax check is completed and they’ve received the code.

Your licensing body will only receive confirmation from HMRC that you’ve completed the tax check, they will not have access to information about your tax affairs.

What you need to do

If you’ve not registered to pay tax on earnings from your licensed trade, please go to GOV.UK to check if you need to register as soon as possible:

If you should have been registered to pay tax and have not been, HMRC will work with you promptly and professionally to get you back on the right track. It’s your responsibility to get your tax right, but HMRC is here to help.

You can get help from HMRC if you need extra support, for example if you need information in a different format or need help filling in forms. Visit GOV.UK and search ‘Get help from HMRC if you need extra support’.

Further guidance on the tax check is available on GOV.UK

Fees for licences in Runnymede

  From April 2024
Scrap Metal Dealer's Site Licence (licence lasts for three years) £420
Scrap Metal Collector's Licence (licence lasts for three years) £270

Summary of new legislation

  • There is an enhanced licence application process, including consultation with the Police and Environment Agency
  • There will be two categories of licence
    • a site licence (which can cover multiple sites within our area)
    • a collector's licence (separate licences will be required for each council area where collections take place)
  • Councils now have the power to refuse or revoke licences or impose conditions where appropriate, subject to the right of dealers to make representations first (these are limited to times of operation and a requirement that metal will be kept in its original form for minimum of 72 hours)
  • Licences must be displayed at sites or on collectors' vehicles where they can be read by the public
  • Sellers must produce personal ID at the point of sale
  • No cash purchases of scrap metal are allowed in any circumstances
  • Motor salvage operators are classed as scrap metal dealers
  • The police and councils have powers to inspect sites
  • There is a central online register of licences held by the Environment Agency
  • Fees are set locally
  • Closure Notices can be issued by the police or councils for unlicensed sites, and Closure Orders can be issued by magistrates' courts if sites are still used as such after seven days
  • There is Statutory Guidance for licensing authorities to accompany the legislation.

You can also read a fuller explanation of the Act

How to apply

To apply for a licence send your completed application form and payment to us.

PDF icon Application for Scrap Metal Licence 

Note - all applicants must provide a Basic Disclosure Certificate which can be obtained from the government website

Get in touch about licensing

The quickest way to contact us is by using our online forms which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need to speak to us give us a call during office hours and talk to our Customer Services team who will be happy to help.