While T&T talks about regulating an apparent lucrative scrap iron industry, Belize is several steps ahead. Effective April 16, 2011, Belize’s Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, through the Department of the Environment, passed the Scrap Metal Recyclers Regulations. “The main purpose of these regulations, storage, transportation and exportation of scrap metals through a licensing system,” read the online regulations at: www.ddoe.gov.bz.
Under the new legislation:
- Any person or company who buys or sells scrap metal for the purpose of export or proposes to carry on business as a scrap metal dealer must make an application for a licence to be a scrap metal dealer or recycler to the Department of the Environment. The licence may be refused or granted subject to the conditions by the department and valued for a period of 12 months.
- The transportation of scrap metals within the country of Belize shall only be via authorised trucks. Authorised trucks are prohibited from entering certain areas, such as along the Arenal Road, Calla Creek Road, Jallacte Road and the Bullet Tree Road.
- Materials which are substantially made of copper, bronze or material which are considered as antiquities or artifacts, as per the National Institute of Culture and History Act, are strictly prohibited from being exported.
Any persons found in possession of any such prohibited material can be detained and shall be liable to a fine of no less than US$5,113 (B$10,000).
- Scrap metal dealers must first obtain an “export permit” from the department for each exportation of scrap metal and pay the necessary fees associated with such permit.
According to the Belizean government, these regulations also address the environmental impacts associated with the collection and storage of scrap metals through the requirement of an environmental compliance plan by licensees, as well as the collection of data on the trade of scrap metal in Belize.