"Nonferrous Metals" means metals not containing significant quantities of iron or steel, including, but not limited to, copper wire, cooper clad steel wire, copper pipe, copper bars, copper sheeting, aluminum other than aluminum cans, a product that is a mixture of aluminum and copper, catalytic converters, lead-acid batteries, steel propane gas tanks, and stainless steel beer kegs or containers.
(added by SB 561) "Coil" means a copper, aluminum, or aluminum-copper condensing coil or evaporation coil. The term includes, but is not limited to, coil from a commercial or residential heating or air-conditioning system. The term does not include coil from a window air-conditioning system, if the coil is contained within the system, or coil from an automobile condenser.
Iron or steel manhole covers, iron or steel drainage grates, and Coils are subject to purchase restrictions.
Copper, catalytic converters, and beer kegs are subject to payment restrictions.
(added by SB 560) Railroad Track Materials are subject to special purchase and payment restrictions but are not defined.
"Secondary Metals Recycler" means any person engaged in the business of paying compensation for Nonferrous Metals that have served their original economic purpose, whether or not the person is engaged in converting Nonferrous Metals into raw material.
"Fixed Site" means a site occupied by a Secondary Metals Recycler as the owner of the site or as a lessee of the site under a lease or other rental agreement providing for occupation of the site by a Secondary Metals Recycler for a total duration of not less than 364 days.
Identification, as used in this summary, refers to the valid forms listed in Section 16-17-680.(H):
Exempt Seller, as used in this summary, refers to the following entities listed in Section 16-17- 680.(J)(1). Recyclers must make records of transactions with Exempt Sellers and Nonferrous Metals purchased from Exempt Sellers are subject to the Hold provisions. Otherwise, Exempt Sellers are exempt from all but the penalties for obtaining a permit to transport and sell for the purpose of transporting or selling stolen Nonferrous Metals (Section 16- 17-680.(C)(10)), and the penalties for transporting or presenting permits to transport or sell or bills of sale for Nonferrous Metals known to be stolen (Section 16-17-680.(G)(5)).
A seller who is:
Exempts the purchase or sale of aluminum cans.
A Recycler must obtain a permit to purchase Nonferrous Metals from the sheriff of the county where each of the Recycler's Fixed Sites are located. A Permit is valid for 24 months. A sheriff may issue the permit if the Recycler has a Fixed Site in the sheriff's county, has not been convicted of a violation of Section 16-11-523 (unlawfully obtaining Nonferrous Metals) or Section 16-17-680, and declares on the application that the Recycler is informed of and will comply with the law. A sheriff may investigate a Recycler's background before issuing a permit to determine if the Recycler qualifies. The sheriff may charge and retain a $200 permitting fee for each permit, and must record:
If the Recycler intends to purchase Nonferrous Metals at a location other than a Fixed Site, the Recycler must obtain a permit from the sheriff of each county where they intend to purchase. The sheriff may issue the permit if the Recycler can sufficiently demonstrate their ability to comply with the law, has not been convicted of a violation of Section 16-11-523 or Section 16-17-680, and declares on the application that the Recycler is informed of and will comply with the law.
Employees acting within the scope and duties of their employment are not required to obtain a separate permit, but must have a copy of the permit available for inspection if they intend to purchase Nonferrous Metals at a location other than a Fixed Site.
Unless the entity is an Exempt Seller, any person or entity who wants to transport or sell Nonferrous Metals to a Recycler must obtain a permit to transport and sell from the sheriff of the person or entity's county. A sheriff may issue the permit to a person if they reside or have a secondary residence or the entity is located or has a secondary location in the sheriff's county, have not been convicted of a violation of Section 16-11-523 or Section 16-17-680, and declare on a form provided by the sheriff that they are informed of and will comply with the law. A sheriff may investigate the person or entity's background before issuing the permit to determine if they qualify. A permit is valid statewide and expires on the person's birth date two calendar years after the year it was issued; or, for an entity, two calendar years after it was issued. The sheriff may not charge a fee for a permit, but may charge a $10 fee to replace a lost or destroyed permit. The sheriff must record:
A person that isn't a resident or an entity that isn't located in South Carolina must obtain a permit from any sheriff of any county. The sheriff may issue the permit if the person or entity is not a resident of or located in South Carolina, has not been convicted of a violation of Section 16-11-523 or Section 16-17-680, and declares on a form provided by the sheriff that they are informed of and will comply with the law.
An employee is not required to obtain a separate permit to transport or sell if the employee is acting within the scope and duties of their employment. An employee who intends to transport and sell Nonferrous Metals on behalf of an entity must have a copy of the entity's permit readily available for inspection.
A Recycler must record the following for purchases of Nonferrous Metal; the Recycler may retain records in an electronic database if the information is legible and can be accessed by law enforcement upon request:
Records must be maintained for 1 year from the date of purchase, except a video of the Seller taken in lieu of a photograph must only be retained for 120 days.
Records and Nonferrous Metals purchased by and in the possession of a Recycler must be kept open for inspection by law enforcement officials or local and state governmental agencies during regular business hours.
A Recycler must not purchase or otherwise acquire the following:
(added by SB 561) A Coil unless:
(added by SB 560) It is unlawful to purchase, sell, or transport railroad track materials for the purpose of recycling unless either the purchaser, seller, or transporter is:
No cash payments totaling $25 or more for the purchase of copper, catalytic converters, or beer kegs; a Recycler shall not make more than one cash transaction per day per Seller for such. Payment for transactions that exceed the cash threshold or transactions per day limit must be by check issued and made payable to the seller. A Recycler may not cash a check issued in payment or use an ATM or other cash card system in lieu of a check. (SB 561 raises the threshold from $0 to $25 and introduces the transactions per day limit)
(added by SB 560) Payment for railroad track materials only must be made to the railroad company or the company's principals, the business that owns the railroad spur or the businesses' principals, the independent railroad contractor or the contractor's principals, or the person or business authorized by the railroad company or the businesses' principals.
A Recycler must prominently display a 20" by 30" sign in their Fixed Site stating the following (please note that, due to amendments since the requirement was originally created, the sign does not include the full list of Exempt Sellers):
"NO NONFERROUS METALS, INCLUDING COPPER, MAY BE PURCHASED BY A SECONDARY METALS RECYCLER FROM A SELLER UNLESS THE SELLER IS A HOLDER OF A RETAIL LICENSE, AN AUTHORIZED WHOLESALER, A CONTRACTOR LICENSED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 11, TITLE 40, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, A GAS, ELECTRIC, COMMUNICATIONS, WATER, PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL, OR CLIMATE CONDITIONING SERVICE PROVIDER, OR THE SELLER PRESENTS THE SELLER'S VALID PERMIT TO TRANSPORT AND SELL NONFERROUS METALS ISSUED PURSUANT TO Section 16-17-680, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976"
15 calendar day hold upon receipt of written notice from a law enforcement officer. An officer with reasonable cause to believe an item of Nonferrous Metal in the possession of a Recycler has been stolen may issue a written hold notice to the Recycler that specifically identifies the items believed stolen and informs the Recycler of the hold requirements. An officer may issue a written extended hold notice before the initial 15 days expires; this extends the hold for 30 days from the date the extended hold notice is received. A hold may be released early by the issuing officer. After a hold expires the Recycler may dispose of the item unless a different disposition has been ordered by a court with jurisdiction.
If a Seller does not have a permit to transport and sell, a Recycler may hold a Seller's Nonferrous Metals while the Seller obtains a permit.
It is unlawful to purchase Nonferrous Metals for recycling unless the purchaser is a Recycler with a valid permit to recycle Nonferrous Metal and the Seller holds a valid permit to transport and sell.
A purchaser of Nonferrous Metals who violates the Recordkeeping, Retention, Inspection, Payment Restrictions, Notice to Seller, or Hold provisions, or who unlawfully purchases Nonferrous Metals as described above is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by the mandatory revocation of their permit and:
A Recycler's permit or permit to transport and sell may be denied, suspended, or revoked at any time if a sheriff discovers the application information is inaccurate, the permit holder does not comply with the requirements of the law, or the permit holder is convicted of a violation of Section 16-11-523 or Section 16-17-680.
It is unlawful to sell Nonferrous Metals to a Recycler unless the Recycler has a valid permit to recycle and the Seller either has a valid permit to transport and sell or is an Exempt Seller. A violation is punishable by the mandatory revocation of the seller's permit and:
A person who presents a falsified bill of sale to sell a Coil is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine in the discretion of the court and/or up to 3 years imprisonment.
It is unlawful to transport Nonferrous Metals in a vehicle or have Nonferrous Metals in a person's possession in a vehicle on a state highway unless one of the following apply:
A violation is a misdemeanor punishable by:
The following are felony offenses punishable by a fine in the discretion of the court and/or up to 10 years imprisonment; any permit to transport and sell must also be revoked:
For Nonferrous Metal known to be stolen:
Under Section 16-11-523, willfully and maliciously damaging any personal or real property, including any fixtures or improvements, to obtain Nonferrous Metals is punishable by the revocation of any permit issued under Section 16-17-680 and:
If the direct injury to the property, loss in value to the property, amount of repairs necessary to return the property to its condition before the act, or property loss including fixtures or improvements, is:
Under Section 16-11-523, a public or private owner of personal or real property is not civilly liable for injuries caused by a dangerous condition created by a theft or attempted theft of Nonferrous Metals when the owner did not know and could not have reasonably known about the theft.
(added by SB 560) Violation of the purchase or payment restrictions for railroad track materials (Section 58-15-875) is a:
(added by SB 560) Under Section 58-15-870, it is unlawful to willfully and maliciously cut, mutilate, deface, or otherwise injure a railroad or electric railway, including anything appertaining to (belonging to, related to, connected with, or concerning) the railroad or railway or any material or instrument for the construction of the railroad or railway. In addition to the following penalties, except in the case of an electric railway, a person who violates this section shall forfeit treble damages for each offense proved to be sustained to be recovered in a tort action in the railroad company's name. Violation is a:
Preempts local ordinances and regulations governing the purchase, sale, or transportation of Nonferrous Metals, except to the extent they pertain to zoning or business license fees. Political subdivisions may not enact more restrictive ordinances or regulations.
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