New Regulations for Scrap Metal Industry


Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, on (Nov. 6) tabled a Ministry Paper in the House of Representatives, paving the way for new trade regulations to be introduced for the scrap metal industry. Scrap metal was removed from the list of items requiring an export licence in 1992, but based on recent developments in the industry it has become necessary to again regulate the sector.
According to Mr. Samuda, the main elements of the regulations include licensing of exporters and dealers within the scrap metal industry; and the issuing of export licences based on on-site inspection of the loading of containers by the Jamaica Customs officers.
Also included are activities and actions that are to be implemented by key stakeholders such as Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), Trade Board Limited, Jamaica Constabulary Force and Jamaica Customs Department.
The JTI, Mr. Samuda said, “will ensure that all scrap metal exporters are registered with them. As part of the regulation process, proposed container loading site(s) must be approved by the JTI.”
Customs brokers, who do not own or operate processing facilities for the export of scrap metal, will not be registered to export scrap metal products. A shipment authorization letter will be issued to the exporter for each shipment.
In relation to the Trade Board Limited, the regulations state that approved exporters of scrap metal must obtain a licence from the board. All other persons involved in the purchase and sale of scrap metal products locally will be required to obtain a dealer’s licence. Export licences will be issued by the Trade Board per shipment based on a review of required documentation including: shipment authorisation letter from the JTI; cargo integrity form signed by a Customs Officer; control sheets for the shipment; and export licence application form along with requisite fees.
“There are a number of persons who are operating in this industry who are not licensed and go about the business of obtaining scrap metal from the dump or other places. It will now be required that they be licensed,” Mr. Samuda said.
In terms of the Jamaica Customs Department, the agency will oversee the packing of scrap metal in container and apply the required fees.
The exporter will be required to provide Customs and other relevant authorities with at least three days notice prior to the packing of the container in order to ensure that an officer is on hand to conduct the inspection while the container(s) is being loaded at an approved packing facility.
In addition, the Jamaica Constabulary Force will be required to inspect any product being baled, before such product can be baled by an exporter. The exporter must give notice to the nearest police station three days before packing of container.
According to the Ministry Paper, exporters will be required to keep control sheets for each transaction where products are purchased.
These control sheets should be approved by the Customs Officer inspecting the shipment being loaded and then supplied to the Trade Board. This will allow the authorities to trace and verify all suppliers of scrap metal.
“Exporters wishing to export certain sensitive items, as scrap will need to have written authorisation. These items include but is not limited to copper wires, electrical wires, railway lines, I-beams, metal pipes, manhole covers, metal barriers and rails, conveyor systems, transformers and aluminium wires,”Mr. Samuda explained.
The global scrap metal industry has been growing at a rapid rate over the past decade. The industry processes more than 145 million tons of recyclable material each year into raw material for industrial manufacturing around the world, contributing more than US$65 billion to global Gross Domestic Product in the process.
Unfortunately, this rapid growth of exports within the industry runs parallel to an alarming increase in the theft of similar metals that support the country’s infrastructure.
According to figures provided by the Jamaica Exporters’ Association, scrap metal exports moved from US$13.3 million in 2005 to US$99.58 million in 2006, registering an increase of more than 600 per cent in one year.
As an interim response to the rising theft of scrap metal, the Trade (Prohibition of Export) (Scrap Metal) Order 2007 was gazetted on October 31, 2007 to temporarily prohibit all exports of scrap metal until trade regulations are introduced.
The order recognised shipments already entered for export into the Customs Department system up to October 30, 2007.

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