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Metal Recycling News September 05, 2022 02:00:45 PM

Metal Thefts are Largely a Law Enforcement Problem, Not a Trade Policy Issue

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The City noted that any imposition of such a ban, even on a temporary basis, must be linked to specific objectives to strengthen controls to prevent the trade and export of stolen metals.

Metal Thefts are Largely a Law Enforcement Problem, Not a Trade Policy Issue

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The City of Cape Town, in its comments on the proposal to ban scrap metal exports by the South African Department of Trade, Industry & Competition, noted that metal thefts and related illicit activities are largely a law enforcement problem, and not necessarily a trade policy problem.

Though the City offered support in general to the SA government’s proposed interventions to tackle the issue, it announced its opposition to the proposal to impose outright ban on scrap metal exports out of the country. Also, it expressed happiness over reports that the EU has objected to the government plan.

ALSO READ: Steel Industry Bids Full Support to Temporary Scrap Metal Exports Ban

The City noted that any imposition of such a ban, even on a temporary basis, must be linked to specific objectives to strengthen controls to prevent the trade and export of stolen metals. However, it provides opportunity for criminals to bypass legal export channels, or stockpile them and sell them after lifting of such a ban. Also, similar bans imposed before has not only done anything to prevent metal theft, but has only caused further economic woes to the struggling steel industry.

Cape Town pressed its earlier demand to extend the city’s policing powers and augmenting the powers of its law enforcement officers to effectively combat scrap metal theft.

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