Georgia Secondary Metals Compliance Guide

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]A Guide for Secondary Metals Recyclers, Law Enforcement, Prosecutors, Utilities, and others to better understand the proper and lawful Purchase of Regulated Metal Property in the State of Georgia – effective July 1, 2015.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

This guide is provided as a public service of:


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Georgia’s Regulated Metals Recycling Law regulates anyone meeting the definition of a Secondary Metals Recycler which is anyone engaged in Georgia in the business of paying compensation for the purchase of Regulated Metal Property whether or not the person operates from a fixed location or otherwise and whether or not the person is engaged in converting such property into raw material products.  This includes any person located in a residence buying metals or buying metals from a truck parked on public or private property.

Regulated Metal Property is any item composed primarily of ferrous or nonferrous metals, but excludes batteries, aluminum beverage containers and used beverage containers (or similar items).  Ferrous metals are those that contain significant quantities of iron or steel.  Nonferrous metals are those metals that do not contain significant quantities of iron or steel, and include stainless steel items, copper, brass, aluminum, bronze, lead, zinc, beer kegs, catalytic converters, nickel and any of their respective alloys.

The Regulated Metals Recycling Law exempts from its coverage purchases of Regulated Metal Property from certain sellers including purchases from manufacturing, industrial, or other commercial vendors (but excluding other Secondary Metals Recyclers) that generate or sell Regulated Metal Property in the ordinary course of their business (the “business-to-business exception”), non-profit sellers, law enforcement and public officials acting in their respective capacities and certain court appointed officials.  The Regulated Metals Recycling Law impacts almost every aspect of a Secondary Metal Recycler’s business operations including recordkeeping, the form of payment for purchase transactions, hours of operation, types of Regulated Metal Property it may purchase and from whom it may purchase the metals.

Amendments made in 2012 to the Regulated Metals Recycling Law significantly changed how the metal recycling industry conducts business.  Recyclers must now register with the county sheriff.  They may no longer pay cash for purchases (other than in exempt transactions).  Their business hours have been reduced.  They must obtain and retain in their records additional information regarding purchase transactions.  Purchases of certain types of Regulated Metal Property (air conditioning coils, burned copper wire and burial memorials) are restricted to certain sellers with proper licenses or documentation.  Upon the establishment of a State database recyclers will be required to report purchase transaction information daily to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.  Finally, recyclers will be subject to more stringent penalties for failure to comply with the law.

House Bill 461, which goes into effect July 1, 2015, provides for several updates to the current metal theft laws that passed in 2012.  The new changes include tighter regulations on the sale and purchase of scrap catalytic converters by allowing certain entities, such as auto dealers, auto parts dealers, secondary metals recyclers, etc. to sell catalytic converters with the proper paperwork.   The exemption of scrap batteries as a regulated metal property has been removed so batteries will now be treated as a regulated metal and will fall under the same procedures as other regulated metal.  The law clarifies any confusion about the purchase of end of life vehicles and the appropriate code section that regulates their purchase relative to regulated metal property by secondary metal recyclers. It clarifies the language regarding a signed statement required by the seller of secondary metals to a recycler to eliminate any confusion over the need of a notarized document (a signed statement will be needed and NOT a notarized document).  It requires secondary metals recyclers to report the name and date of birth and specify the make, model, and color of the delivering vehicle to the GBI database.  The law also allows post certified security for a utility and telecom company access to the GBI database. Information required by the GBI from regulated secondary metals recyclers shall be filed electronically and is now considered a trade secret and exempt from disclosure.  However, the law does not exempt the secondary metals recyclers from providing the required information to the GBI. Finally, the law makes it a felony for a person to use the GBI database for any other reason other than for the investigation of alleged crime.

As noted in the “Disclaimer” at the end of this document, this Compliance Guide is designed as a resource to help Secondary Metals Recyclers understand and comply with the Regulated Metals Recycling Law but it is not offered as legal advice nor meant to serve a substitute for the advice of legal counsel.  Secondary Metal Recyclers are encouraged to read the Regulated Metals Recycling Law or consult with legal counsel regarding the law if they have any questions.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]


(O.C.G.A. § 10-1-350)

Statutory Definitions:  The following are the defined terms found in the Regulated Metals Recycling Law:

Aluminum Property means aluminum forms designed to shape concrete.

Business License means a business license, an occupational tax certificate, and other document required by a county or municipal corporation and issued by the appropriate agency of such to engage in a profession or business.

Burial Object means any product manufactured for, or used for, identifying or permanently decorating a grave site, including, without limitation, monuments, markers, benches, and vases, and any base or foundation on which they rest or are mounted

Coil means any copper, aluminum, or aluminum-copper condensing coil or evaporation coil. The term does not include coil from a window air-conditioning system, if contained within the system itself, or coil from an automobile condenser.

Copper Property means any copper wire, copper tubing, copper pipe, or any item composed completely of copper.

Deliverer means any individual who takes or transports the Regulated Metal Property to the Secondary Metals Recycler.

Ferrous Metals means any metals containing significant quantities of iron or steel.

Law Enforcement Officer means any duly constituted peace officer of the State or of any county, municipality or political subdivision of the State.
Nonferrous Metals means any metals not containing significant quantities of iron or steel and includes stainless steel beer kegs, other stainless steel items, copper, brass, aluminum, bronze, lead, zinc, nickel, and their alloys
Person means an individual, partnership, corporation, joint venture, trust, association or any other legal entity.
Personal Identification Card means any current and unexpired (i) driver’s license or identification card issued by the Georgia Department of Driver Services or any similar card issued by another state, (ii) a military identification card or (iii) a current work authorization issued by the federal government, which contains the individuals name, address, and photograph.  No other forms of identification are acceptable.
Purchase Transaction means any transaction in which a Secondary Metals Recycler pays money or gives something of value in exchange for Regulated Metal Property.
Regulated Metal Property means any item primarily composed of Ferrous Metals or Nonferrous Metals; and includes Aluminum Property, Copper Property, and catalytic converters, but shall not include batteries, aluminum beverage containers, used beverage containers (or similar items).
Secondary Metals Recycler means any Person who is engaged in this state, whether from a fixed location or otherwise, in the business of paying compensation for (buying) Regulated Metal Property, whether or not engaged in the business of performing the manufacturing process of converting the Regulated Metal Property into raw material products.
Seller means the rightful owner of the Regulated Metal Property or the individual authorized by the rightful owner of the Regulated Metal Property to conduct the Purchase Transaction.