There is now a six-month ban on the exportation of all old metal and scrap metal, and violators will be subject to fines and imprisonment.
Attorney General Reginald Armour made the announcement at a Media Conference this afternoon as he noted that in response to the theft of copper wire and cables, Cabinet has accepted his recommendation to authorise the preparation of a Prohibition Order, pursuant to Section 44 of the Customs Act, to ban the exportation of old scrap metal, and scrap metal in general.
The Prohibition Order took effect on Friday 12th August 2022. It will last for six months, until 23rd February 2023.
AG Armour said the aim is to keep the legitimate scrap iron industry alive but to keep it under constant review under the six-month period so that there will be no loopholes under which any illicit undertakings will continue.
He stated that a review and analysis will be done in three months’ time, and a legislative, regulatory and enforcement process will also be presented to Cabinet.
AG Armour said it is “a regrettable step” in placing the ban on the exportation of scrap metal as there are many legitimate workers in the industry, but Cabinet recognises that the theft of copper wire/cables is affecting the lives of ordinary people.