Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, says under his instructions, the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs has established the Scrap Metal Industry Regulation Ad-Hoc Committee.
And the new committee has since been mandated to come up with draft legislation regarding the scrap iron industry within the next three months. On August 15, the AG announced that Government had banned the export of scrap iron and metals for six months. The ban is scheduled to end in February, 2023, although the AG was hoping to end it before this time.
A statement from the AG yesterday said the first meeting of the committee was held yesterday with its members, comprising of key officers from the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Customs and Excise Division of the Ministry of Finance, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force.
The statement said the committee is tasked with supporting the Law Reform Commission’s assignment to aggressively revamp the current legislation to consider and enable:
An enforceable legislative and licensing regime;
The maintenance of a public access registration system via website
The ability of law enforcement, including the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and the Customs and Excise Division to inspect, among other places the collection sites
The provision of regulatory making power in the substantive law; and
Any other considerations which should be included in order to interdict the illegalities within the industry by urgent legislative and regulatory reform.
The Office of the Attorney General added that the committee is mandated to adhere to strict timelines in order to present draft legislation within the next three months and to include stakeholder collaboration during its deliberations.
Scrap iron dealers and workers have been staging protests across the country since the ban was announced.