Scrap metal dealers act 2013

The scrap metal dealers act 2013 comes into force 1st December 2013.  The legislation requires that anyone who is collecting, buying or selling scrap in Blackburn with Darwen will require a scrap metal dealer licence issued by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

Under the new legislation the Police and the Council will have powers to inspect sites and records of scrap metal transactions.

The Environment Agency will publish a central online register of licences. Scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators will both be ‘scrap metal dealers’.

A person carries on business as a scrap metal dealer if they:

(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 bought, or
(b) Carry on 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 paragraphs (a) and (b), or
(d) Wholly or mainly in 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.

 “Scrap metal” includes:

(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.

But the following are not to be regarded as scrap metal:

(a) Gold,
(b) Silver, and
(c) Any alloy of which 2 per cent or more by weight is attributable to gold or silver.

There are two types of licence, one for a site and the other for a mobile collector (for those carrying on business otherwise than at a site):

A site licence

Each site where a person carries on a business of buying/selling scrap metal (e.g. a scrap yard), within a Local Authority area must be listed on a Site Licence granted by that Local Authority. Each site must also have a named site manager recorded on the licence. A Site Licence authorises the holder to transport scrap metal to and from the site(s) listed on the licence.

A collector’s licence

A Collector’s Licence authorises the holder and the holder alone to collect scrap metal within the Local Authority area which has issued the licence. They cannot collect scrap metal in any other Local Authority area without first obtaining a separate licence from the other Local Authority concerned. In addition, a Collectors Licence does not authorise the holder to operate a site. Each person who travels in a vehicle collecting scrap metal must be in possession of a Collectors Licence. It is a criminal offence to be in a vehicle which has engaged in the collection of scrap metal if you do not hold a Collectors Licence.

You can only apply for one of the above licences.

How to obtain a licence

You must submit an application to Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council for a licence if you wish to operate your business without disruption from within the Blackburn and Darwen area.

Once issued, each licence will be valid for 3 years from the date of issue.

To operate without a licence is a criminal offence.

As part of the application process, you are required to enclose with your application a ‘Basic Criminal Disclosure Certificate’ which can be obtained by contacting Disclosure Scotland as follows:

Disclosure Scotland,
PO Box 250,
G51 1YU
Tel: 0870 609 6006

Applications for a Basic Disclosure can be made and paid for online. The current fee for the Disclosure is £25. It can take up to 14 days for your Disclosure Certificate to be posted to you.  

A fee will be applicable upon the grant of your licence:

Collector’s Licence £365
Site Licence £340 (plus £3 per window sticker)
Variation £50

The Council will notify you if they are proposing to refuse your application.  You will be given 14 days in which to make representations against this.  Should the Council formally refuse your Licence, you may then appeal to the Magistrates' Court within 21 days.

Since 3rd December 2012, it has been a criminal offence for a scrap metal dealer to buy or sell scrap metal for cash. A scrap metal dealer must not pay for scrap metal except by non-transferable cheque or by an electronic transfer of funds via bank debit/credit card.

Further information and advice is available from the Public Protection Service of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.  Please contact Telephone Number 01254 267666.

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