Please Note: Amendments by 2015 Georgia HB 461, effective July 1, 2015, are included and noted in this summary.
"Regulated Metal Property" means any item composed primarily of any Ferrous Metals or Nonferrous Metals and includes Aluminum Property, Copper Property, and catalytic converters but shall not include aluminum beverage containers, used beverage containers, or similar beverage containers. (HB 461 removes batteries from materials not included)
"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 including its tubing or rods. Excludes coil from a window air-conditioning system, if contained within the system itself, or coil from an automobile condenser.
Vehicles, burnt copper wires and catalytic converters are subject to special purchase restrictions and reporting requirements but are not separately defined.
"Secondary Metals Recycler" means any person who is engaged in the business of paying compensation for Regulated Metal that has served its original economic purpose, whether or not engaged in converting Regulated Metal into raw material products consisting of prepared grades and having an existing or potential economic value.
"Seller" means the rightful owner of Regulated Metal or the individual authorized by the rightful owner to conduct the purchase transaction.
"Deliverer" means any individual who takes or transports Regulated Metal to the Recycler.
"Personal identification card" means a current and unexpired state driver's license or identification card, military identification card, or a current work authorization issued by the federal government, with the individual's name, address, and photograph.
(added by HB 461) "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.
Exempts purchases of Regulated Metal from:
One of the following Sellers who presents proof of such to the Recycler:
A recycler must make a legible record of all Regulated Metal purchases with the following: (italicized text added by HB 461)
"A secondary metals recycler is any person who is engaged, from a fixed location or otherwise, in the business in this state of paying compensation for regulated metal property that has served its original economic purpose, whether or not engaged in the business of performing the manufacturing process by which regulated metal property is converted into raw material products consisting of prepared grades and having an existing or potential economic value. No ferrous metals, nonferrous metals, aluminum property, copper property, or catalytic converters (aluminum beverage containers, used beverage containers, or similar beverage containers are exempt) may be purchased by a secondary metals recycler unless such secondary metals recycler is registered pursuant to Article 14 of Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated";
The following from the Seller, and also from the Deliverer if applicable:
(HB 461 replaces previous requirement to forward title or form for a motor vehicle to Dept. of Revenue within 72 hours of receiving from Seller)
For a vehicle, a Recycler shall:
A Recycler may only purchase a Coil from: (italicized text added by HB 461)
A Recycler may only purchase copper wire which appears to have been exposed to heat, charred, or burned in an attempt to remove insulation surrounding it from: (italicized text added by HB 461)
A Recycler may only purchase a catalytic converter than is attached to a vehicle or is purchased from:
A Recycler may only purchase a Burial Object from: (italicized text added by HB 461)
A Recycler shall retain records for not less than 2 years from the transaction date.
During a Recycler's usual and customary business hours a law enforcement officer may, after properly identifying themselves as such, inspect any and all Regulated Metal and transaction records in the Recycler's possession.
Effective July 1, 2015, Recyclers must provide record information, except for the amount of consideration given, electronically to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation or its designee. A Recycler who maintains a copy with the Bureau or its designee of the statements each seller must sign and swear to may provide a copy of the individual seller's signature instead of the actual statements, provided the statements are retained and are available for inspection.
The Bureau or its designee shall establish and maintain a database of reported information. Such information shall be considered a trade secret exempt from disclosure under Art. 4, Ch. 18, Title 50; this shall not relieve the Recycler of the obligation to report such to the Bureau or its designee. The database shall be accessible and searchable by:
The Bureau shall promulgate rules and regulations and establish procedures necessary for this section and ensure compliance with applicable federal and state laws, including:
No cash payments for Regulated Metal. A Recycler shall only pay for Regulated Metal by check, electronic funds transfer, or voucher, payable only to the Seller. A Recycler may not cash or redeem checks or electronic transfers or provide a redemption or cashing mechanism on site.
Vouchers may be provided to Sellers at the transaction time or mailed to the address indicated on the Seller's personal ID card. Recyclers may not redeem a voucher presented at the transaction time for 3 days from the transaction date. Vouchers may only be redeemed for cash by the Seller or their heirs or legal representative. Vouchers expire 6 months after the transaction date. A voucher must include the following:
15 calendar day hold after receipt of a written hold notice from a law enforcement officer with reasonable cause to believe Regulated Metal in the possession of the Recycler was stolen. Notice must specifically identify held items and inform Recycler of the Hold provision information. An officer can release the hold early or extend the hold for 30 days from the receipt of a written extended hold notice. Once the Hold expires a Recycler may dispose of the equipment unless otherwise ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction
A Recycler may not purchase or sell Regulated Metal between 7 PM and 7 AM.
A Recycler must register every year with the sheriff of each county where they maintain a place of business. An individual must register with the sheriff where they reside, or if a non-resident, the county where they intend to primarily engage as a recycler. Registration information will be entered into a statewide electronic data base established in coordination with the Secretary of State and accessible by all Georgia law enforcement
If a Recycler contests an ownership claim for Regulated Metal the other party may bring action in the superior or state court of the Recycler's county, provided a timely theft report had been made to the proper authorities. The petition must include a description of how the other party identified the Regulated Metal.
Any person who purchases or sells Regulated Metals in violation of statutes (except as provided for unregistered Recyclers), or makes a false statement in executing a statement required by the Recordkeeping provision (HB 461 changes from False Swearing punishable under Section 16-10-71) is guilty of:
Such a person is also liable in a civil action to any victims of a crime involving such for the full value of the property, any repairs and related expenses incurred as a result of such crime, litigation expenses, and reasonable attorneys' fees.
(added by HB 461) Any person who attempts to use the database for any purpose other than the investigation of an alleged crime or conspires to do so shall be guilty of a felony punishable by:
Failure to register as a Recycler is a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.
If a lawful owner recovers stolen Regulated Metal from a Recycler in compliance with the law and the Seller is convicted of theft by taking, theft by conversion, a violation of this article, theft by receiving stolen property, or criminal damage to property in the first degree, the court shall order the defendant make full restitution, including costs, to the Recycler or owner as appropriate.
It is unlawful to give a false or altered personal ID card, vehicle license tag number, or VIN to a Recycler as part of a purchase transaction.
Property used or intended to directly or indirectly facilitate one of the following crimes, and any weapon possessed, used, or available for use in such, is declared contraband and subject to forfeiture as set forth in Section 16-13-49:
Supersedes and preempts all Regulated Metal rules, regulations, codes, ordinances, and other laws by a local governmental agency except those affecting the land use and zoning of Recyclers or related to occupational taxes, occupational tax certificates, or regulatory fees.
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This summary of State Metals Theft Laws is being viewed on this website under license and is owned and copyrighted by Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. ("ISRI"),1615 L Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036.