Copper is a target of thieves across New Zealand; they risk their lives cutting power lines, communication wires and pipe fittings for it. Its scrap value has been attractive enough to compel people to commit theft in various forms for a long time.
The authorities, however, don’t classify it as “scrap metal” under the Secondhand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 2004 because of its extraordinary demand. This means that recyclers of discarded metal have to follow different recordkeeping rules upon acquisition.
Regardless of the item’s form or usefulness, here’s what licensed dealers should do when copper changes hands:
One of the essential things that copper dealers ought to do is to describe the item as clearly as possible. The buyer must record all of its distinctive qualities, features or identifiers, like the serial number. One must assign a unique number for the copper item for business purposes. If its resale value is $40 (or more), record keeping must detail either how it was otherwise disposed of or when it was sold.
In light of the prevalence of scrap metal theft, the government wants to know who sells which copper item. The dealer must determine and verify the seller’s identity. The individual’s full name, address, date of birth and signature must be recorded. Also, the dealer must explain how the buyer was identified.
Storage and Inspection
Since copper items are hot commodities, dealers can’t let go of them immediately. They ought to hold on to them for 14 days before resale or disposal. For the next two weeks after the transaction, a member of the police will come for inspection.
However, this rule doesn’t apply when the dealer obtains copper from another licensed holder or returns it to the individual that sold it.
It’s impossible to stop copper theft completely, but strict procedures have been useful in suppressing it. Whether you’re planning to sell copper or report stolen metal, do so without breaking the law.