NATIONAL MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT REDUCTION COUNCIL (NMVTRC) PROPOSALS FOR MAJOR NATIONAL REFORM OF AUTO RECYCLING INDUSTRY
COPY OF NMVTRC REPORTS & PROPOSALS
A copy of the Reports and proposals referred to in the article below can be downloaded from here:
On 30 September, 2014 the NMVTRC released a package of documents that propose major reform of the auto recycling industry.
The proposals flow from an investigation of 430 auto recycling and scrap metal businesses in Victoria conducted by an Inter-Agency Taskforce.
The Inter-Agency Taskforce (called "Task Force Discover") comprised representatives of:
• Victoria Police
• Australian Crime Commission
• Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
• Consumer Affairs Victoria
• Environment Protection Authority (Victoria)
• Victorian WorkCover Authority
THE OBJECTIVES OF THE NMVTRC PROJECT WERE:
To gather empirical evidence of the level of compliance with local laws in respect of the second-hand parts and metal recycling sector in Victoria and facilitate discussion about reform of related activity.
A SUMMARY OF THE TASKFORCE REPORT IS:
Task Force Discover was an Inter-agency Task Force (ITF) funded by the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council and led by Victoria Police Crime Command.
Its audit of more than 400 Victorian motor wrecking and scrap metal businesses represents the most comprehensive compliance checking exercise ever undertaken in respect of this sector in Australia. The results reveal a staggering record of non-compliance across the regulatory spectrum with—
• 7 in 10 either not holding the required authorisation to trade (i.e. the correct licence or registration) or being non-compliant to some degree with the conditions of their business licence or registration;
• 9 in 10 not complying with written-off vehicle reporting obligations;
• 9 in 10 assessed to be non-compliant to some extent with OHS and environmental protection regulations, with—
- 1 in 5 referred for extreme safety breaches deemed likely to cause imminent injury; and
- 1 in 10 referred for extreme environmental breaches causing obvious and ongoing serious pollution to soil and waterways.
The ITF also observed that—
• with many businesses operating almost exclusively on a cash only basis transactions are untraceable, which has implications for investigating the chain of vehicle acquisition and disposal, and also raises questions about compliance with taxation; and
• such widespread non-compliance enables vehicle thieves to launder stolen vehicles through motor wreckers or scrap metal dealers with little or no risk their personal details will be retained.
The ITF report clearly demonstrates that the existing law, in respect of the management of separated vehicle parts and vehicle-related scrap, is in need of major reform.
The NMVTRC’s reform proposal is set out in the form of a set of model laws that are designed to remove ambiguities and gaps, and deal more effectively with enduring non-compliance. The report includes a link to an exposure draft of those model laws.
NMVTRC PROPOSALS FOR ACTION ARE:
The NMVTRC has proposed that a new Act and Regulations be implemented in each State and Territory. The major features of the Regulatory package are:
• the introduction of an accreditation requirement for a person who carries on business as a motor vehicle dealer, motor vehicle recycler (including a metal recycler) or motor vehicle repairer;
• the inclusion of a chain of responsibility model for related parties which requires prescribed persons to—
- take all reasonable steps to ensure that stolen motor vehicles or parts are not traded by any party in the chain; and
- report suspicious vehicles or parts, whether in their custody or offered to the person for sale;
• a broad range of search, seize and retention powers for authorised officers—with or without consent;
• a range of regulatory tools for the “Regulator” to promote or assure compliance including the power to publicise breaches or offences;
• the creation of separate commercial and general offences—the former allowing the profit made in an illegal transaction to be taken into account;
• the inclusion of civil penalty orders with daily penalties for continuing non-compliance; and
• improvement and exclusion orders, under which a person may be required to improve their performance or face exclusion from the industry.
The proposed accreditation system has three components—industry entry, maintenance of accreditation and termination of accreditation. For industry entry, the key issues are competence and specific criminal history.
For maintenance of accreditation the principal requirements are adherence to minimum standards and a commitment to continuous improvement. The continuous improvement concept is central to the objective of accreditation—accreditation is intended to encourage industry participants to continuously improve their business practices, and not engage in a ‘race to the bottom’ in an attempt to reduce cost by meeting only minimum requirements.
In order to maintain accreditation industry participants would be required to observe requirements about record keeping, complaint handling and self-audit.
ARAA RESPONSE TO REPORT
The NMVTRC has sought stakeholder comments on the model law package. In particular, the NMVTRC is interested in stakeholders’ views on:
• the likely impact and effectiveness of such reforms if implemented nationally;
• any interdependencies that need to be taken into account in design of related reforms (including the extent to which success relies on national harmonisation or synchronisation, etc);
• the achievability of such a reform program; and
• any perceived constraints or downsides that the NMVTRC should consider.
ARAA will convene a meeting of its National Policy Council by the end of October and prepare a draft response to the Report by the end of October.
This will then be made available for auto recycler feedback before a final submission is prepared by mid-December.
HAVE YOUR SAY
This is your opportunity to have your say:
• tell us about issues affecting your business that you believe we can assist with;
• ask a question on any of the topics covered in this article.
Ring David Nolan on 0418 829 110
Click below to have your say.