England and Wales

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act (SMDA) 2013 came into force on 1 October 2013 when new licence applications to work as a dealer were first accepted by local councils. The newer Act repealed earlier Acts and created a revised regulatory regime for the scrap metal recycling and vehicle dismantling industries in England and Wales.

It is illegal for anyone to buy scrap metal using cash. Instead, dealers can pay using a crossed cheque, a prepaid card system or an electronic transfer of funds.

Scrap metal dealers must also verify the identity of all sellers. Sellers must bring either a valid photographic ID that also sets out their full residential address or a formal document such as a utility bill and a valid photographic ID. Valid forms of ID include a passeport and photocard driving licence. Acceptable formal documents include bank or building society statements, utility bills or council tax documents.

If you would like to learn more about the SMDA, or read the explanatory notes or view the Guidance document, click on the link below:

Scotland

The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015, an equivilent law to the SMDA, has now been enacted in Scotland. As in England and Wales, since 1 September 2016, it has been illegal to pay cash for scrap. 

Metal dealers (including itinerant collectors) are currently submitting licence applications to their local authority licensing departments. Dealers have until  1 June 2016 to apply for the correct licenses and local authorities have to make their decisions and issue licenses by 1 September 2016 when the cash ban and record keeping requirements become a legal requirement. Interim provisions are in place to allow members to continue operating under an existing exemption or licence should their local authority fail to make a decision on their application by this date. However, members will still be subject to the cash ban and record keeping requirements regardless of the status of their licence application.

Dealers in Scotland have slightly fewer payment options available to them, these being electronic transfer or a crossed cheque.

As in England and Wales, scrap metal dealers in Scotland must also verify the identity of all sellers. Sellers must bring either a valid photographic ID that also sets out their full residential address or a formal document such as a utility bill and a valid photographic ID. Valid forms of ID include a passeport and photocard driving licence. Acceptable formal documents include bank or building society statements, utility bills or council tax documents.

BMRA AWLA Guidance