Scrap metal dealers information

To apply for a licence, find out the fees or find more information visit the website of the Licensing Authority of Secondhand Dealers and Pawnbrokers [Ministry f Justice website].

Some requirements need to be met by all secondhand dealers and pawnbrokers licence holders.

Below is extra information relating just to scrap metal dealers.

You are a scrap metal dealer if you buy (for the purpose of trade), sell, exchange or otherwise deal in scrap metal and you need to be licensed as a secondhand dealer. You are subject to specific requirements when dealing with scrap metal.

Scrap metal includes:

  • old metal
  • broken metal
  • partly manufactured metal goods
  • defaced or old metal goods
  • metal residues from manufacturing processes
  • items that are made entirely or substantially of metal
  • items that are no longer fit for the purpose for which they were designed or intended.

Note that copper is not classed as scrap metal – it is an 'article' for the purpose of the Secondhand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 2004. Copper is subject to different record keeping requirements than scrap metal.

Learn more about handling 'articles' on the page for secondhand dealers.

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Requirements for scrap metal dealers

As a licence holder you must comply with the requirements for all licence holders and the general requirements for secondhand dealers as they apply to scrap metal.

Dealer records for scrap metal transactions

All licence holders must keep a 'dealers record' in respect to all scrap metal that they acquire. Your dealers record must include the following details:

  • the full name, contact address and telephone number of the person from whom you acquired the scrap metal
  • the manner in which you verified the person's identity
  • the person's date of birth
  • the person's signature
  • a description of the nature and quantity of the scrap metal acquired
  • the name and signature of any person who conducted the transaction on your behalf
  • the date of the transaction.

This information must be added to your dealers record as soon as practicable after the information is available.

Offences relating to dealers records

It is an offence to, without reasonable excuse, fail to:

  • keep a dealers record
  • record the required information
  • record that information as soon as practicable.

It is also an offence to make a false entry in your dealers record.
You could be liable to a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted of any of these offences.

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Dealing with copper

If you acquire "copper in any form" you must comply with the requirements that apply to 'articles'.

When purchasing "copper in any form" your dealers record must include the following details:

  • the full name, contact address and contact telephone number of the person from whom you acquired the copper
  • the manner in which you verified the person's identity
  • the person's date of birth
  • the person's signature
  • a description of the article and its serial number or other unique identifier, if any
  • the price you paid to purchase the copper
  • the number you assigned to the copper item
  • the name and signature of any person who conducted the transaction on your behalf
  • the date of the transaction.

Where the copper has an apparent resale value of more than $40, the information on your dealers record must also include:

  • the date on which the copper was sold
  • or an account of how and when the article was otherwise disposed of.

When you acquire copper you must keep the item in an unaltered state for 14 days from the date of the transaction. For that first 14 days after the transaction, you must store the article in a place that can be reasonably conveniently inspected by a member of Police.

You must attach a label to the copper you acquire. This label must remain attached to the copper until you have sold it or otherwise disposed of it.

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Copper in groups of articles

Sometimes you may buy copper items in a group of 'articles', for example a box of miscellaneous goods. If you do this, generally, you do not have to record every article individually.

However, you must treat each article individually in such a group if:

  • the apparent resale value is more than $40
  • the article has a serial number which may be used as a unique identifier.

Once you have identified such articles you must treat the remaining articles in the group as if they were one article. This means that you do not have to:

  • individually label the remaining articles within that group
  • record the disposal of the group of articles or any individual articles within that group.

If you fail to comply with the retention and labelling requirements that apply to "copper in any form" you will be committing an offence. If convicted, you may be fined up to $10,000.