New Scrap Metal Laws Could Wreck The Wreckers

19:01' 28-05-2018
Victorian businesses that wreck old cars for their scrap metal value are facing pressure from new laws for dealing in scrap metal, which came into effect at the end of May.

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    Photo: thescrappostblog.com

    Scrap metal dealers are now prohibited from paying or receiving cash when they buy or sell scrap, must keep certain records of those transactions, are required to register as a second-hand dealer by September.

    The new laws are aimed at preventing criminal activity in scrap metal dealings, such as selling stolen vehicles or parts for cash. However, wreckers in NSW, where similar law changes took place in March last year, say they already have safeguards against this.

    Scrap metal dealers are now forbidden to pay or receive cash for scrap metal they buy or sell. Payment must be in the form of a non-transferable cheque or by electronic funds transfer.

    The hardest blow is a prohibition against buying or selling a vehicle if the serial number has been removed, defaced, obliterated or altered. This is not only time-consuming, but often impractical. “How am I meant to get the number off a car that has been smashed up and then crushed?” NSW dealer Gavin Clark told the Northern Daily Leader.

    Adding to the burden, dealers must keep detailed records, including an accurate description, quantity and/or weight, the name and address of the seller, and the date and time the scrap metal was received.

    The big stick attached to the laws is new search and entry powers for the police, if they “reasonably believe” that a business and storage premises is dealing in scrap metal. They can also issue on-the-spot fines for a number of offences, including (after September) not being registered as a second-hand dealer.

    Dale Imlach, Director of Imlachs Self Serve Auto Parts in Springvale, calls this a significant change. “Victoria Police will have warrantless entry in business recycling yards, where previously they required a court order,” he says.

    The scrap metal business benefits both vehicle owners and the wreckers. When car repairs are no longer economical, or the vehicle has been “written off” after an accident, the owner could part with it for cash, or have a dealer take it away for no charge.

    After the GST was introduced in 1999, many second hand dealers closed down their businesses because accounting for stock was a nightmare. That affected a major recycling process, in which people pass on their goods for resale, rather than dump them. It is hard to avoid the fear that scrap metal dealers and wreckers are now facing a similar threat.

    Span Hanna

     

     

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Keywords: gstscrap metalvictorian businesses

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