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New scrap metal policy for T&T
T&T’s scrap metal industry is now regulated through the implementation of a scrap metal policy. To inform development of the policy, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment (MTII) hosted a series of consultations with public and private sector stakeholders, starting in September 2012, to identify critical issues affecting the industry. The stakeholders included relevant government ministries, public utilities and scrap metal dealers.
Allan Ferguson, president of the T&T Scrap Iron Dealers Association, has expressed support for the policy. “The Trinidad and Tobago Scrap Iron Dealers Association has read the Cabinet-approved policy and agrees 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,” he said.
The overall objective of the policy is to strengthen the existing regulatory framework, taking into account international best practices and unique national circumstances, to adequately address the problems plaguing the industry. Its key objectives are to:
• Provide contemporary guidelines and regulations to facilitate the operations of the scrap metal industry in T&T;
• Develop an effective licensing regime for scrap metal dealers; and
• Raise operational standards in the scrap metal industry.
The new policy is intended to provide stringent rules and regulations with accompanying penalties for non-compliance. This policy, supported by the pending amendment of the Old Metal and Marine Stores Act (1904), is considered to be the catalyst necessary to successfully advance the growth and development of the scrap metal industry in T&T.
Randall Karim, director, Policy and Strategy MTII, underscored the importance of the policy implementation: “In keeping with the Government’s thrust to diversify the economy and to assist in building on non-traditional sectors, the Ministry and its stakeholders have seen the urgent need for a policy to be developed to regulate the scrap metal industry which has evolved well beyond the framework of the Old Metal and Marine Stores Act of 1904 that governs the trade of scrap metal in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Some of the issues revealed at the consultation were unfair competition; proliferation of illegal scrap yards; an outdated Old Metal and Marine Stores Act of 1904; scrap metal theft; money laundering; concealment of illegal firearms and lack of enforcement of health and environmental standards; insufficient criteria for granting licenses; lack of inspection and certification; inadequate monitoring system; and health hazards.
An e-copy version of the Scrap Metal Policy for T&T can obtained at: https://www.ttbizlink.gov.tt/trade/tnt/cmn/pdf/Scrap_Metal_Policy_2013.pdf or on the Ministry’s web site at www.tradeind.gov.tt. Additionally, a hard copy of the policy can be obtained at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment Head Office, Level 14, Nicholas Towers, Port-of-Spain.