New legislation: Measures to restrict and regulate trade in ferrous and non-ferrous metals waste, scrap and semi-finished ferrous and non-ferrous metal products to limit damage to infrastructure and the economy.

Following the publication of the draft policy proposals on measures to restrict and regulate trade in ferrous and non-ferrous metals waste, scrap and semi-finished ferrous and non-ferrous metal products to limit damage to infrastructure and the economy in Government Gazette No. 47202 on 05 August 2022 (by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition) and taking into consideration the public comments on those draft policy proposals, Government intends to implement various interventions in what may broadly be described as a three-phased approach.

The high-level overview of the various phase approach include:

  • In phase 1, the focus is on interventions that are to be implemented without delay through the use of directives and notices, i.e.:
    (i) imposing a temporary (six-month) prohibition on the export of copper waste and scrap metal, ferrous waste and scrap metal, and re-melting ingots of iron or steel, with exceptions for stainless steel and ferrous waste and scrap generated in the ordinary course of business as a by-product of a manufacturing process;
    (ii) continuing the export permit system for waste and scrap metal that is already subject to export control;
    (iii) creating an export permit system for semi-finished metal products;
    (iv) creating an import permit system for furnaces and other scrap transformation machines.
  • In phase 2, the focus will be on the continuation of the measures referred to above (in phase 1); and the enhancement of the regulation of the scrap metal trade through amendments to the Regulations published under the Second-Hand Goods Act 6 of 2009, which will bolster the applicable metal trading registration regime. Further interventions during this phase could include, for example, a limitation on the ports and land borders for the export of waste, scrap and semi-finished metal products (more detail on these and other possible interventions is provided in this Regulation).
  • Phase 3 will include legislative amendments to, for example, the Second-Hand Goods Act, other pieces of legislation and the possible introduction of new legislation to implement a metal trading regime, to prohibit the trade of waste, scrap and semi-finished metals in cash, and to blacklist offenders of the metals regime.

Details of the policy implementation actions

  • Although the phases may appear from their description to be sequential, they are not rigid and will, in practice, overlap.
  • The export prohibition in phase 1 is anticipated to last for six (6) months from the date on which the prohibition is imposed (which is once the gazette is published). Work on the amendments to existing regulations has commenced and could be gazetted in between phase 1 and phase 2. The legislative action called for in phase 3 may take up to 24 months to finalise, starting from the launch of phase 1.

You can download the gazette here.