NEW laws have been introduced to crack down on organised crime in the scrap metal industry.
Scrap metal dealers and auto wreckers are now banned from paying or receiving cash payments, possessing or trading an unidentified motor vehicle, and will be required to keep detailed records of all transactions involving scrap metal.
Dealers will also be required to be registered as second-hand dealers through the Business Licensing Authority by September 1.
People or businesses dealing in scrap metal that are not already registered second-hand dealers will be assessed to determine whether they are suitable to be registered.
Police now have expanded search and entry powers that will allow them to enter business and storage premises without a warrant if they reasonably believe that dealing in scrap metal is taking place.
New offences have been introduced with penalties of more than $30,000 for buying or selling scrap metal for cash.
This will be supported by the ability for police to issue on-the-spot fines to scrap metal dealers not adhering to the new laws, with penalties of more than $1900.
Rich River Dealers owner Willy Elliott agreed with the reforms but said there was still plenty of issues to be worked out.
“We weren’t given a lot of notice about the changes and there hasn’t been a lot of guidance since they came into effect,” he said.
“Once we get some solid rules in place and a policing system sorted out, it should be good.
“I was hoping there would be some cash sales allowed under a certain limit. When someone comes in with some car batteries, it’s preferable to give them cash.
“I don’t think it will worry my customers too much.
‘‘People prefer to walk out with cash but most people understand why the changes are in place.”