Georgia has become the most recent state to pass legislation that attempts to deal with the high left of scrap metal theft with the signing of a bill that tightens restrictions on the scrap metal trade. The law will go into effect July 1, 2012.
Signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal April 16, 2012, House Bill 872 changes the way scrap metal recyclers conduct business. In signing the bill, Deal said the goal of the new law was to combat the rising tide of criminal activity by enforcing strict regulations on businesses that purchase ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Jason Shaw.
The bill addresses transactions involving ferrous and nonferrous metals, with the sale of used beverage cans being the exemption. The bill also does not affect business-to-business transactions, only the retail trade.
Key points of the law include:
- Scrap metal recyclers can purchase coil and certain copper wire from certain persons.
- Scrap metal recyclers can purchase burial objects from certain persons.
- Certain provisions relating to inspections by law enforcement officers have been changed.
- Payment is required by check, voucher or wire transfer; cash payments are banned.
- Scrap dealers are required to register with every city in which they conduct business.
- Certain provisions relating to the use of a form to transfer title to a motor vehicle to be sold or disposed of as scrap metal or parts have been revised under Code Section 40-3-36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to cancellation of certificate of title for scrap, dismantled or demolished vehicles, salvage certificate of title, administrative enforcement and removal of license plates
- Verification that a vehicle is not subject to any secured interest or lien must be provided.
Chip Koplin, governmental and public affairs manager for Schnitzer’s Southeast Region, says the ban on cash payments is the one issue that is of most concern for scrap metal recyclers in the state. He expresses concern that for a scrap metal recycler that might have several hundred transactions per day the change to a cashless system could create significant challenges.