This paper presents the results of the tests of High Purity Germanium (HPGe) based gamma spectrometers employed for radioactivity control carried out on a daily basis in steel factories. This new application of this type of detector is part of the Joint Research Project (JRP) MetroMETAL supported by the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP). The final purpose of the project was the improvement and standardisation of the measurement methods and systems for the control of radioactivity of recycled metal scraps at the beginning of the working process and for the certification of the absence of any radioactive contamination above the clearance levels (IAEA-TECDOC-8S5) in final steel products, Clearance levels for radionuclides in solid materials: application of exemption principles). Two prototypes based on HPGe detectors were designed and assembled to suit the needs of steel mills which had been examined previously. The evaluation of the two prototypes, carried out at three steel factories with standard sources of 60Co, 137Cs, 192Ir, 226Ra and 241Am in three different matrices (slag, fume dust and cast steel) and with samples provided on-site by the factories, was successful. The measurements proved the superiority of the prototypes over the scintillation detectors now commonly used regarding energy resolution and multi-nuclide identification capability. The detection limits were assessed and are presented as well. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.