JIS News

The Trade (Scrap Metal) Regulations 2007, which will monitor and regulate the country’s scrap metal trade, will be tabled in the House of Representatives today(Nov. 6).
This was disclosed by Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Karl Samuda this morning (Nov. 5), at a meeting with stakeholders at the offices of Jamaica Trade and Invest on Trafalgar Road in Kingston.
He said that the provisions under the Regulations will include, among other things, fines and penalties for breaches; the licensing of legitimate traders; and the introduction of inspectors to monitor the transporting of scrap metal.
The Industry Minister noted that while there are legitimate players in the industry, it has become necessary for the government to introduce guidelines, as several businesses have reported million-dollar losses as a result of the theft of valuable metals such telecommunication bridges, manhole covers, railway lines, power lines and conveyors systems.
“The purpose of all of this is to ensure that only legitimate people get an opportunity to export scrap metal out of the country and that scrap metal is clearly identified as scrap, and not as any item that has been taken from the valuable infrastructure of our country such as bridges, equipment, rolling stock and signs,” Mr. Samuda stated.
He noted that the scrap metal trade creates employment for many persons. “There is nothing for instance wrong with someone salvaging scrap metal from our dump heaps and selling them and making a livelihood, however it has to be within a framework of honest trading. It cannot be allowed to exist as it now exists, and hence the need to take very decisive actions,” he pointed out.
The Minister expressed confidence that through collaboration with the stakeholders in the industry, the guidelines that will be introduced shortly will not only curb the theft of valuable scrap metals, but should result in economic growth for the country. He further called on key stakeholders to play their part by carrying out their jobs “fearlessly and honestly” to put an end to the theft of valuable metals.
“The Customs Department, the National Security Ministry, the Industry Investment and Commerce Ministry through the Trade Board, and all of us engaged in this exercise, should do our part to ensure that we bring it to an end,” he stated.
Within the last two weeks there have been reports of unprecedented levels of metal theft from several companies including the National Water Commission, the Jamaica Public Service Company, National Works Agency and Cable and Wireless Jamaica Limited.
In a bid to curb the theft, the government placed a ban on the export of all scrap metal until an assessment of the trade is done.
The Jamaica Exporters Association have reported that 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.

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