Richmondshire District Council

Scrap metal

We're responsible for regulating businesses in Richmondshire that deal in scrap metal, including motor salvage.

Under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, businesses that act wholly or partly as scrap metal dealers will have to hold licences from us. This includes businesses which:

  • Buy or sell scrap metal, or articles containing metal (irrespective of whether the metal is processes in between), either at a site or through mobile collections
  • Recover salvageable parts from motor vehicles, to be reused or sold
  • Buy written-off vehicles for repair or re-sale
  • Trade motor vehicles for salvage or recovery purposes

Collecting, buying or selling items for their metal content, such as household goods or end-of-life vehicles, will also require a scrap metal licence. However, gold or silver, including alloys with more than two per cent gold or silver, are not covered by this Act.

We issue:

  • Site licences: For business that operate collection yards, office, storage facilities or industrial units in Richmondshire. These licences also allow metal to be collected by appointment and transported from sites in other areas.
  • Collector's licences: For businesses without sites that want to collect metal by door-to-door collections in the district.

You can only obtain one type of licence from us. If the nature of your business changes, you can apply to change the type of licence at a later date. Our licences are only valid in Richmondshire, so if you want to run sites or collect in several different council areas, you'll need to apply for licences from every applicable council.

Apply for a licence

You can apply by completing the application forms:

For details of the application fees payable, please see our licensing fees and charges.

Applications must be accompanied by Basic Disclosure certificates, issued within the last three months, for every applicant, partner, director and site manager named in the application. You can apply for a Basic Disclosure online from Disclosure and Barring Service, or by calling 03000 200190.

Determining applications

Before we can issue a licence, we must be satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to hold one. When making this decision, we'll consider any individual applicants, partners, or directors of a limited company, as well as the nominated site managers for any scrap metal sites operating in Richmondshire.

In particular, we'll look at whether:

Anyone named in the application has been convicted of a relevant offence

  • Anyone named in the application has been subject to any relevant enforcement action, by a local council, police, or the Environment Agency
  • Any previous applications for scrap metal licences or environmental permits have been refused
  • Any previous scrap metal licences have been revoked
  • The applicant has suitable measures in place to ensure compliance with their legal duties if a licence is granted

We will consult police and environmental agencies before determining applications, and take into account any information or comments they provide. We may also take any other relevant information into account, such as complaints from customers or members of the public.

If we're satisfied that the applicant is suitable, we'll issue a three-year licence.

If we have any concerns about your suitability as an applicant we'll let you know and allow you the opportunity to make representations, either in writing or at a hearing. Any representations will be taken into account before a final decision is made. If your application is refused, you'll have a right of appeal to a magistrates' court.

Can I start trading before my application is determined?

We aim to deal with all applications within eight weeks, and if you haven't received a decision by the end of this period you'll be able to act as if a licence has been granted.

However, trading during the application period is not permitted. The period will begin upon the receipt of a full and valid application, and tacit consent will not apply if we've notified you of any issues with your application.

Public register

The Environment Agency maintains a national public register of all licensed scrap metal dealers.

Duties on licence-holders

Licensed scrap metal dealers are obliged to notify us of certain events, and keep their licences up to date by making variation applications if key details change. They must also keep records of details of their transactions, which may be inspected from time to time by police or council officers.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments or complaints about a scrap metal dealer in Richmondshire, we would advise that you first contact the trader directly. The best way to do this is by sending a letter with proof of delivery.

If that has not worked, the Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help, or the UK European Consumer Centre.  If you're outside the UK.

If you believe that a scrap metal dealer is trading in Richmondshire without a licence, or is breaching their licence, contact us with the details and we will investigate.

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