Scrap Metal Dealers

You must have a licence to collect or deal with scrap metal. 

You can have a site licence or a collector licence from Cheshire East:

  • Site Licence - This is for all sites where a licensee carries on a business as a scrap metal dealer and allows for the licensee to transport scrap metal to and from their sites from any local authority area.
  • Collector’s Licence – This allows the licensee to operate as a collector in the Cheshire East area only.

To apply for a scrap metal dealers licence

You must fill in the scrap metal dealers licence application form (PDF, 225KB) and send it to Regulatory Services and Health, Cheshire East Council, Delamere House, Delamere Street, Crewe, CW1 2LL. There is an application fee for a site or collector’s licence, which can be paid by cheque or card.

Recent changes

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

About the tax check

You will be able to complete the tax check on GOV.UK, through your Government Gateway account. You 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. 

When you’ve completed the tax check, you’ll receive a 9-character code. We cannot proceed with your renewal application until the tax check is completed and we have received the tax check code.

HMRC guidance about tax registration obligations: 

Public register

The Environment Agency keep the public register for scrap metal dealers.

Scrap Metal Dealers Records

Entries must be made immediately upon receipt, processing or despatch of the scrap metal. Records must be kept for two years from the last entry. 

Scrap metal received

Every scrap metal dealer must keep on site a record of all scrap metal received there, including:

  • the description and weight of the scrap metal
  • the date and time of the receipt of the scrap metal
  • if the scrap metal is received from another person, the full name and address of that person
  • the price paid for the scrap metal
  • a vehicle registration number if the scrap metal was delivered to the site 

Scrap metal processed or despatched

Where scrap metal is processed or despatched from the site, records must include:

  • the description and weight of the scrap metal
  • the date of processing or despatch of the scrap metal, and any process applied
  • the full name and address of the person to whom the scrap metal is sold or with whom it is exchanged and the intended purpose
  • the value of the scrap metal immediately before its processing or despatch as estimated by the dealer

Additional guidance

The Local Government Association has guidance for applicants and local authorities.

Contact us

0300 123 5015

Page last reviewed: 09 October 2023