Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 59.1. Trade and Commerce
8/21/2019

Article 4. Scrap Metal Purchasers.

§ 59.1-136.1. Definitions.

For the purpose of this article:

"Authorized scrap seller" means licensed plumbers, electricians, HVAC contractors, building and construction contractors, demolition contractors, construction and demolition debris contractors, public utilities, transportation companies, industrial and manufacturing companies, marine, automobile, and aircraft salvage and wrecking companies, and government entities.

"Broker" means any person or his authorized agent who negotiates, purchases, sells, or offers for sale any scrap metal either directly or through an authorized agent without obtaining title to or ownership of the scrap metal.

"Ferrous scrap" means any scrap metal consisting primarily of iron, steel, or both, but excluding any scrap metal consisting primarily of stainless steel. Ferrous scrap includes large manufactured articles such as automobile bodies that may contain other substances to be removed and sorted during normal operations of scrap metal processors.

"Metal article" means any manufactured item, consisting of metal, that is usable for its originally intended purpose without processing, repairs, or alteration and that is not otherwise excluded by the definitions in this section. Examples include, without limitation, railings, copper or aluminum wire, copper pipe and tubing, plumbing fixtures, copper and aluminum gutters, copper and aluminum downspouts, and cast-iron radiators.

"Nonferrous scrap" means any scrap metal consisting primarily of (i) stainless steel or (ii) any metal other than iron or steel. Nonferrous scrap does not include aluminum beverage cans; postconsumer household items such as pots, pans, barbecue grills, and lawn chairs; used flashing removed during building renovation or demolition; or small quantities of nonferrous metals contained in large manufactured articles, such as automobile bodies and appliances.

"Proprietary article" means (i) any metal article stamped, engraved, stenciled, or otherwise marked so as to identify it as being or having been the property of a governmental entity or public utility or transportation, shipbuilding, ship repair, mining, or manufacturing company; (ii) any hard drawn copper electrical conductor, cable, or wire that is three-eighths of one inch or greater in diameter, stranded or solid; (iii) any aluminum conductor, cable, or wire three quarters of one inch or greater in diameter, stranded or solid; (iv) stainless steel beer kegs; (v) any catalytic converter from a motor vehicle exhaust system that has been detached from a motor vehicle; (vi) any telecommunications cable that is one-half of one inch or greater in diameter and that contains 50 or more individual strands of solid, insulated, color-coded copper wire, including such telecommunication cable that has been unsheathed or burned; (vii) any manhole cover; (viii) any bronze or copper cemetery plaque, urn, or marker; (ix) aluminum bleacher seats or guardrails; or (x) any mining cable that is one-half inch or greater in diameter and is composed of one or more stranded copper conductors and stamped, engraved, stenciled, or otherwise marked with "Mine Safety and Health Administration" or "MSHA."

"Scrap metal" means any manufactured item or article consisting of or containing metal; any metal removed from or obtained by cutting, demolishing, or disassembling any building, structure, manufactured item, or article; and any other metal that is no longer used for its original purpose and that can be processed for reuse in mills, foundries, and other manufacturing facilities.

"Scrap metal processor" means a business entity in good standing authorized to conduct business in the Commonwealth that regularly utilizes machinery and equipment at one or more established locations in the normal course of business for processing and manufacturing scrap metal into prepared grades for sale as raw material to mills, foundries, and other manufacturing facilities.

"Scrap metal purchaser" means any person or business, other than an authorized scrap seller or a broker buying or selling processed scrap metal, who purchases scrap metal either directly or through an authorized agent in excess of $20,000 during any 12-month period.

2007, c. 917; 2009, c. 657; 2010, c. 805; 2012, c. 449; 2013, c. 414.

§ 59.1-136.2. Purchases of ferrous scrap.

Except as provided in § 59.1-136.4, scrap metal processors may purchase ferrous scrap directly from any person.

2007, c. 917.

§ 59.1-136.3. Purchases of nonferrous scrap, metal articles, and proprietary articles.

A. Except as provided in § 59.1-136.4, scrap metal purchasers may purchase nonferrous scrap, metal articles, and proprietary articles from any person who is not an authorized scrap seller or the authorized agent and employee of an authorized scrap seller only in accordance with the following requirements and procedures:

1. At the time of sale, the seller of any nonferrous scrap, metal article, or proprietary article shall provide a driver's license or other government-issued current photographic identification including the seller's full name, current address, date of birth, and social security or other recognized identification number; and

2. The scrap metal purchaser shall record the seller's identification information, as well as the time and date of the transaction, the license number of the seller's vehicle, and a description of the items received from the seller, in a permanent ledger maintained at the scrap metal purchaser's place of business. The ledger shall be made available upon request to any law-enforcement official, conservator of the peace, or special conservator of the peace appointed pursuant to § 19.2-13, in the performance of his duties who presents his credentials at the scrap metal purchaser's normal business location during regular business hours. Records required by this subdivision shall be maintained by the scrap metal dealer at its normal place of business or at another readily accessible and secure location for at least five years.

B. Upon compliance with the other requirements of this section and § 59.1-136.4, a scrap metal purchaser may purchase proprietary articles from a person who is not an authorized scrap seller or the authorized agent and employee of an authorized scrap seller if the scrap metal purchaser complies with one of the following:

1. The scrap metal purchaser receives from the person seeking to sell the proprietary articles documentation, such as a bill of sale, receipt, letter of authorization, or similar evidence, establishing that the person lawfully possesses the proprietary articles to be sold; or

2. The scrap metal purchaser shall document a diligent inquiry into whether the person selling or delivering the same has a legal right to do so, and, after purchasing a proprietary article from a person without obtaining the documentation described in subdivision 1, shall submit a report to the local sheriff's department or the chief of police of the locality, by the close of the following business day, describing the proprietary article and including a copy of the seller's identifying information, and hold the proprietary article for not less than 15 days following purchase.

C. The scrap metal purchaser shall take a photographic or video image of all proprietary articles purchased from anyone other than an authorized scrap seller. Such image shall be of sufficient quality so as to reasonably identify the subject of the image and shall be maintained by the scrap metal purchaser no less than 30 days from the date the image is taken. Any image taken and maintained in accordance with this subdivision shall be made available upon the request of any law-enforcement officer conducting official law-enforcement business.

D. The scrap metal purchaser may purchase nonferrous scrap, metal articles, and proprietary articles directly from an authorized scrap seller and from the authorized agent or employee of an authorized scrap seller.

2007, c. 917; 2013, c. 414.

§ 59.1-136.4. Purchases of materials from minors.

Scrap metal processors shall not purchase ferrous scrap, nonferrous scrap, metal articles, proprietary articles, or other scrap metal from any person under the age of 18 years.

2007, c. 917.

§ 59.1-136.5. Reports of purchases by scrap metal purchasers.

If requested by the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality in which the scrap metal purchaser conducts business, every scrap metal purchaser conducting business in the locality shall furnish to the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality in which the scrap metal purchaser conducts business a report of all of the scrap metal purchaser's purchases of nonferrous scrap, metal articles, and proprietary articles, excluding aluminum cans and interior household items. Each report shall (i) be submitted on the next business day following the date of a purchase; (ii) include the seller's name, date of birth, identification number, address, height, and weight and the license number of any motor vehicle in which the goods or things were delivered; and (iii) be submitted in an electronic format if required by the locality in which the scrap metal purchaser conducts business. The form of the report shall be prescribed by the Virginia State Police.

2007, c. 917; 2013, c. 414.

§ 59.1-136.6. Penalties.

A. Any scrap metal purchaser who negligently violates any provisions of this article may be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $7,500 for each violation. Any attorney for the county, city, or town in which an alleged violation of this article occurred may bring a civil action to recover such a civil penalty. The civil penalty shall be paid into the local treasury.

B. Any scrap metal purchaser who knowingly violates any provisions of this article is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

2007, c. 917; 2013, c. 414.

§ 59.1-136.7. Exemption.

Nothing in this article shall apply to the purchase, sale or disposal of any material that is used in the provision of health care by any professional who is licensed, certified or registered to practice by a board within the Department of Health Professions under Title 54.1.

2007, c. 917.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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