The Laws in Australia About Scrap Metal Recycling

A Guide to Australian Law Concerning Scrap Metal Recycling

It might surprise you to learn that the scrap metal industry is very valuable, with literally billions of dollars generated in Australia alone! As the natural resources are gradually depleted around the world, commerce turned to recycling, as we now have the technology to recycle almost everything, including water.

Free Collection

Wherever you live in Australia, it is easy to find a registered scrap metal dealer who will come and collect the scrap. With the current copper scrap price per KG in Sydney, that old copper piping will be worth something. All scrap metal dealers have a website and with Google’s help you can arrange a pick-up at any time. Just let the dealer know what you have for him and he will pay you top rates and there’s no collection charge, which is great!

Scrap Metal & Australian Law

In 2018, a new law was passed in Victoria that impacted the scrap metal industry in Melbourne. The law prohibits dealers paying cash for scrap metal. They must either use a recognised electronic transfer or issue a cheque in the name of the business. This was done to curb illegal activities.

In the past, car thieves break up vehicles and sell them as scrap. Good thing every scrap metal dealer must now be registered with the State. When buying scrap metal, there must be a record of the transaction. All of the scrap metal dealers Newcastle and other areas have must be registered and have to pay a 3-year subscription for the privilege.

What is a Scrap Metal?

The line is very clear. “Any item that has less than 2% by weight of gold or silver” and “80% or less by weight of copper” is considered scrap metal. Items that fall outside of these two categories and actually considered to be “second-hand goods”, which can be paid for in cash.

Keeping Records

The scrap metal dealer must record the following:

  • An accurate description of the metal
  • Any identifiers
  • Seller’s name address and ID details
  • Date and time items received
  • Copy of the receipt

The dealer could be visited at any time by a State official and must present their records. There are severe penalties for not doing so. While many dealers complained when the new law came into effect, they have now adjusted their business processes and comply with the law.

Second-Hand Dealer

As the majority of scrap metal is classed as second-hand goods, the scrap metal dealer must register for a second-hand goods trading licence, as well as a scrap metal dealer’s licence, which covers all of their transactions. The Australian government are considering a ban on exporting scrap metal, as the need is growing within the country.

Second-Hand Cars

If a car is to be scrapped, then the transaction must be recorded. However, if the car is sold to be stripped for parts, this can be paid for in cash. So, when you call in the car breaker to take away your old vehicle, he can pay you in good old Australian dollars, as the car’s components will be reused.

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