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When you need to apply for a licence

Under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, a scrap metal dealer must have a licence to carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer.

You could face a fine of up to £5,000 if you carry on a business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence.

For more information on the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 and the Royal Borough of Greenwich's Scrap Metal Dealers Licensing Procedure, read the Council's Scrap Metal Licensing Procedure.

Types of licence

There are two types of licence:

  • Site licence
  • Collector's licence

You can't apply for both licences.

Site licence

Apply for a site licence if you operate out of a site or sites within Royal Greenwich where metal is bought and sold. Each site must have a nominated site manager.

The site licence enables the licence holder to operate from the site as a scrap metal dealer. It also enables them to transport scrap metal to and from those sites.

Collector's licence

Apply for a collector's licence if you operate on a mobile basis (for example door-to-door collecting) instead of a site.

The collector's licence authorises the licensee to collect scrap metal (commercial and domestic) in the area of the issuing local authority.

The collector's licence does not authorise the licensee to:

  • collect from any other local authority area
  • carry on a business at a site.

Licence fees

The application fees for each type of licence are as follows:

Scrap metal licence application fees: 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023
Licence type New application Renew Vary Duplicate Minor change
Site licence £745.39 £648.16 £324.08 £18.37


Collector's licence £464.52 £464.52 £324.08 £18.37 £32.41

You can pay by cheque, made payable to 'Royal Borough of Greenwich', or by cash in person at The Woolwich Centre.

How to apply

You need to download and complete an application form to apply for the scrap metal licence.

Download the scrap metal licence application form

Send your completed application form to the licensing department together with:

  • your licence fee
  • supporting documents.

Supporting documentation

You need to send insurance documentation to cover vehicles used in scrap metal activity.

You also need to send an endorsed passport-sized photograph with your scrap metal licence application form.

Endorsed means someone must testify that the photograph is a 'true likeness' of the applicant. This can't be done by a relative. The person who endorses the photograph needs to print and sign their name and state the capacity in which they're signing, such as their occupation.

You also need to send a Basic Disclosure from Disclosure Scotland for each of the following:

  • the applicant - for sole applicants and partnerships only
  • company director, shadow director, and company secretary - for company applicants only
  • each site manager - for the site licence only.

What happens next

The Council will assess your application and consult with the following relevant authorities:

  • The Environment Agency
  • The Metropolitan Police
  • Other Royal Borough of Greenwich departments, including Trading Standards, Business Rates, Environmental Crime Investigation and Enforcement, and Planning
  • Licensing departments for Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Lewisham, Newham, and Tower Hamlets Councils.

The consultation period usually lasts 28 days.

The Council will then grant your application, refuse it or add conditions to the licence.

You'll be notified of the Council's decision and can appeal if you disagree with it.

If your application is granted, you'll usually be sent your licence within two weeks of the decision being made.

Your licence lasts for three years.