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Scrap metal

Scrap metal dealers must apply to us for either a site licence or a collector's licence if operating in the Maldon district. A site licence allows you to buy and sell scrap metal from a fixed location. A collector's licence allows you to collect scrap in the Maldon District. You may only apply for one type of licence.

This applies to anybody who buys or sells scrap metal, whether or not it is sold in the form it was bought and includes motor salvage operators. Motor salvage includes 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. It includes buying written-off vehicles, repairing and reselling them.

A manufacturer is not a scrap metal dealer if metal is sold only as a by-product of manufacturing.

Definition of scrap metal

Any old, waste or discarded metal or metallic material and any item which is made from or contains metal and is broken, worn out or regarded by its last owner as having reached the end of its useful life. Gold, silver and any alloy of which 2% or more by weight is attributable to gold or silver is not regarded as scrap metal.

Scrap metal licensing is governed by various legislation:

More information about scrap metal licensing may be available from the following trade associations:

A list of scrap metal dealers within the Maldon District can be found on the Environment Agency's website.


  • You must be over 18 years old
  • You must be a suitable person

In determining whether you are a suitable person, we will consider:

  • whether you or the site manager has been convicted or any relevant offence(s)
  • whether you or the site manager has been the subject of any relevant enforcement action
  • any previous refusal of an application for the issue or renewal of a scrap metal licence (and the reason for refusal)
  • any previous refusal of an application for a relevant environmental permit or registration (and the reason for refusal)
  • any previous revocation of a scrap metal licence (and the reason for revocation)
  • whether you have demonstrated that adequate procedures will be in place to ensure that the provisions of law are complied with

If a company, we will consider whether the following are suitable:

  • any director of the company
  • any secretary of the company
  • any shadow director

If a partnership, we will consider whether each partner is suitable.

Making an application

Please view the Application Guidance and Scrap metal policy before you apply for a Scrap Metal Dealer/Collector licence.

In order to assess an applicant's suitability, you must also submit a basic disclosure certificate. This includes each partner, director, shadow director, company secretary and each site manager. Any certificate should be within 3 months of the date of the application.


There is a fee for each type of licence and this must accompany the application form.

If we are satisfied that you are suitable and other conditions have been met, we will issue a licence. If you have not heard from us within 28 days, please contact us. The licence lasts for 3 years and will need to be renewed if you wish to continue as a scrap metal dealer after this time.

If you operate without a valid licence, this could render you liable to prosecution.

Important Changes

Please be aware, from 1st April 2022 changes came into force in relation to the application process.

You will need to be registered with the HMRC, please see the government website Complete a tax check for more details. If a renewal application, you will need to provide the 9 figure HMRC tax check code. The licensing authority are not permitted to grant a licence without proof of registration.

New applicants must be aware of their tax obligations and confirm that they are aware of the HMRCs guidance about their tax responsibilities. If you do not confirm that you are aware of the guidance you will not be issued with a licence.  Please visit the following websites for more information:

Schedule 23 to Finance Act 2011 (Data Gathering Powers) and Schedule 36 to Finance Act 2008 (Information and Inspection Powers), grant HMRC powers to obtain relevant information from third parties.  This includes licensing bodies being required to provide information about licence applicants.

Change in circumstances

You must notify us of any changes which would materially affect the accuracy of the information you provided on your application. You must apply to vary the licence within 28 days of the changes occurring and includes changing:

  • the Licensee's details (name and address)
  • from a Site Licence to a Collector's Licence or from a Collector's Licence to a Site Licence
  • the site(s) licensed (adding, removing or changing details)
  • names and addresses of site managers

Should you cease to carry on the business of a scrap metal dealer, you must also inform us of the fact within 28 days.

Making representations and appeals

We will inform you by way of Notice if we intend to refuse, vary or revoke a licence. If you are unhappy with our decision, you have the right to:

  • either make representations about the proposal; or
  • inform us that they wish to do so

within the time period specified within the Notice.

You will be given the opportunity to raise your representations orally before a Licensing sub-committee.

If you are unhappy with the decision of the Licensing sub-committee, you can appeal against the decision in a local Magistrates' Court. Appeals must be made to a Magistrates' Court within 21 days of the decision, beginning with the day on which Notice of the decision was given.

Consumer Complaint

We advise that in the event of a complaint, you contact the trader first - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that does not work, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Bureau can give advice. From outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Other redress

If you are not happy about other issues such as nuisance (e.g. noise, dust and drainage), information is available on our website.