The Ministry of Trade has developed a new scrap metal policy to regulate the industry.
The overall objective of the policy is to strengthen the existing regulatory framework, taking into account international best practices and unique national circumstances, in order to adequately address the problems plaguing the scrap metal industry, the ministry said in a release yesterday.
The policy’s key objectives are:
• To provide contemporary guidelines and regulations to facilitate the operations of the scrap metal industry in Trinidad and Tobago;
• To develop an effective licensing regime for scrap metal dealers; and
• To raise operational standards in the scrap metal industry.
The policy is intended to provide stringent rules and regulations with accompanying penalties for non-compliance and will be supported by the pending amendment of the Old Metal and Marine Stores Act (1904), it added.
Allan Ferguson, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Scrap Iron Dealers Association supported the policy.
“(We) have read the Cabinet-approved policy and agree on some of the recommendations that were presented, and we are willing and ready to collaborate with the ministry and interested parties to rectify other issues”, Ferguson said in the ministry statement.
The completed policy follows a series of public and private stakeholder consultations hosted by the ministry since 2012, including public utility companies and scrap metal dealers.
Some of the issues revealed through consultations were unfair competition; proliferation of illegal scrap yards; an outdated Old Metal and Marine Stores Act of 1904; scrap metal theft; money laundering; concealment of illegal firearms; lack of enforcement of health and environmental standards; insufficient criteria for granting licences; lack of inspection and certification; inadequate monitoring system; and health hazards, the ministry said.