As an interim measure to treat with the rising theft of metals, the Trinidad and Tobago Scrap Iron Dealers Association (TTSIDA) has proposed a registration system for van and scrap iron dealers.
At a conference at Signature Hall, Longdenville on Thursday, President Allan Ferguson presented recommendations put forward by the association at a meeting with a Cabinet sub-committee Wednesday.
Ferguson noted that in the last 12 months, apart from reports of stolen copper, there’s been theft of gates, manhole covers, metal doors, pumps and compressors.
These metals will be listed under a new Specially Itemized Metals Category (SIMC), which will be included on Collector’s forms.
As part of the proposed registration process, van dealers will receive stickers to place on their vans indicating they are recognised dealers with the TTSIDA. Registered scrap iron dealers will erect visible business signs bearing their Dealer Registration numbers.
The plan states that van dealers must present upon sale to scrap iron dealers a completed Van Collectors form for all metals that fall within the new classification.
A Van collectors Form will bear the personal details, TTSIDA registration number and the contact info and address for the location where every SIMC item was collected or purchased from.
Further, Van Dealers must be able to produce their filled out Collector’s form for inspection at any time by the TTPS or Licensing Authority.
Should a Van Dealer fail to produce this form, they should be taken into custody and all goods in transit seized for investigation.
Meanwhile, Registered Scrap Iron Dealers must fill out SMIC collection forms, including the van collector’s Personal Details, Van license number and vehicle registration number.
All metals that fall within the (SIMC) category will be kept in “Custodial Care” for seven days, during which time relevant checks and confirmations are made to ensure the items were not stolen.
The TTSIDA President noted that failure to perform to these checks can result in the dealer being held responsible for the items in their possession.
In event a theft is detected, dealers must contact the nearest police station, surrender the goods to the authority and furnish the police with all details for the Van Collector.
As part of its daily proceedings, TTSIDA registered Scrap Iron Dealers must be able to produce their filled out SIMC Collector’s form for inspection at any time by the TTPS or Licensing Authority.
The proposed registration, while not mandatory, is a means of introducing checks and balances and will begin on Saturday.
Ferguson noted that the measure will make it difficult for those operating outside of the network, thus, reducing the incidence of theft.
He believes that dealers will have no issue with getting on board with the registration as a means of ensuring the future of the industry.
As for legislation to ensure the proper regulation of the industry, this has already been drafted and is expected to be brought soon.
The Association also recommended that licenses issued by the Government be for a duration of five years rather than just one year, as the sometimes lengthy process is done via application through the regional Magistrates’ courts.
The TTSIDA President said discussions will continue with Government.
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