Penalties - second-hand dealers and pawnbrokers

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As a second-hand dealer or pawnbroker, it is your responsibility to understand your legal obligations under the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1989.

You must also understand your responsibilities under other laws that set rules for your business – for example, the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012, which applies to all Victorian businesses. For more information, view our Business resources section.

You may be penalised for breaches of the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1989. Some offences and their penalties are listed below.

We have a range of options to deal with breaches we identify. For more information, view our Regulatory approach and compliance policy section.

Monetary penalties under the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1989 can be imposed by:

  • a court, after it finds charges proven
  • an infringement notice, issued by Victoria Police or Consumer Affairs Victoria officers. For more information, view our About infringement notices page.

The value of a penalty unit is $158.57 for financial year 2017-18. This amount will change at the start of each financial year. For more information, visit the Indexation of fees and penalties page on the Department of Treasury and Finance website.

Any police officer may serve notice under this section on a second-hand dealer or pawnbroker, if the police officer reasonably believes that goods in the possession or under the control of the dealer or pawnbroker may have been stolen.

You must comply with the notice and are prohibited from altering the form of the goods or disposing of them in any way for 21 days from service.

Section of the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act

Obligation

Maximum court imposed penalty for breaching your obligation

Infringement notice penalty for breaching your obligation

5(1) You must not, either alone or in partnership, carry on carry on business as a second-hand dealer unless you are registered as a second-hand dealer.
100 penalty units 10 penalty units
5(1A)

You must not, either alone or in partnership, carry on business as a pawnbroker unless you are:

  • registered as a second-hand dealer, and
  • authorised by endorsement to carry on business as a pawnbroker.
100 penalty units

10 penalty units

11B(a)

You must return the certificate of registration to the Business Licensing Authority (BLA) within seven days of becoming aware of the cancellation of the registration.

This timeframe may not apply where the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) cancels your registration and makes an order for the return of the certificate within a different time period.

25 penalty units

2 penalty units

11B(b)

You must return the certificate of registration to the BLA within seven days of becoming aware of the cancellation of an endorsement of the registration.

This timeframe may not apply where VCAT cancels an endorsement of the registration and makes an order for the return of the certificate within a different time period.

25 penalty units

2 penalty units

11B(c)

You must return the certificate of registration to the BLA within seven days of ceasing to carry on business as a second-hand dealer or pawnbroker.

25 penalty units

2 penalty units

11C(4)

You must return the certificate of registration to the BLA within 14 days of surrendering your registration or endorsement of a registration.

10 penalty units

1 penalty units

12(a)

You must, within seven days, give notice in writing to the BLA if you change your business premises.

10 penalty units

1 penalty units

12(b)

You must, within seven days, give notice in writing to the BLA if, in the case of a company, the company changes directors.

10 penalty units

1 penalty units

12(c)

You must, within seven days, give notice in writing to the BLA if you change associates.

10 penalty units

1 penalty units

12(d)

You must, within seven days, give notice in writing to the BLA if you cease carrying on business as a second-hand dealer or pawnbroker.

10 penalty units

1 penalty units

17(1)

You must display the current certificate of registration or a copy of it in a prominent position at each place at which business is carried on pursuant to the registration or endorsement.

60 penalty units

5 penalty units

17(2)

You must not display a certificate of registration or a copy of that certificate if the registration or endorsement is not in force.

60 penalty units

5 penalty units

18D

You must, when VCAT suspends or cancels your registration, return the certificate of registration to the BLA within the time period specified by VCAT.

25 penalty units

2 penalty units

19A(1) You must not pay or receive payment for scrap metal in cash.
200 penalty units 12 penalty units
19A(2)

You must pay for or receive payment for scrap metal by one of the following means:

  • a cheque which is not transferrable to or payable to cash, or
  • an electronic transfer of funds which does not involve e-currency.
200 penalty units
12 penalty units
19B(1) You must not buy scrap metal that consists of a motor vehicle if the vehicle identifier has been removed, obliterated, defaced or altered.
A vehicle identifier means the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) permanently recorded on all vehicles manufactured since 1989, or in any other case, the chassis number marked on the vehicle.
200 penalty units

12 penalty units

19B(2) You must not sell or otherwise dispose of scrap metal that consists of a motor vehicle if the vehicle identifier has been removed, obliterated, defaced or altered, unless authorised to do so by a police officer in writing.
200 penalty units

12 penalty units

19B(3) You must not possess scrap metal that consists of a motor vehicle if the vehicle identifier has been removed, obliterated, defaced or altered, unless authorised to do so by a police officer in writing.
200 penalty units

12 penalty units

20

You must keep accurate and complete records of every transaction, whether conducted on the business premises or elsewhere, by which you:

  • receive second-hand goods, and
  • receive or dispose of scrap metal.

Part 4 of the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers (General, Exemption and Record-Keeping) Regulations 2018 sets out these record-keeping requirements in more detail.

 

20 penalty units

2 penalty units

21(1)

You must for seven days after receiving second-hand goods, keep the goods in the form in which they were received and not dispose of them in any way.

 

20 penalty units

2 penalty units

21A

You must keep accurate and complete records of the place of storage of each item of second-hand goods in your possession or under your control.

 

20 penalty units

2 penalty units

23 (2)

You must display a notice, in or outside the business, showing the maximum amount charged for any period and the circumstances under which higher charges will apply.

This notice must be:

  • displayed in a prominent place inside or outside the premises
  • clearly visible to the public from outside the premises
  • in the form approved by the Business Licensing Authority.

20 penalty units

2 penalty units

23(3)

You must, if you advance money on the security of goods received in pawn, give to the owner of the goods

  • a pawn ticket
  • a notice concerning the rights and responsibilities of the parties, and
  • written notice of the charge that will be imposed on the transaction.

The pawn ticket and notice of rights and responsibilities must be as required by Regulation 11 of the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Regulations 2008.

 

20 penalty units

2 penalty units

23A(3)

You must, if you sell unredeemed pawned goods after the expiry of the loan period and the residual equity is $10 or more (or another amount if prescribed), within 14 days send the person who pawned the goods a notice advising that:

  • the pawned goods have been sold, and
  • they are entitled to claim the residual equity within 12 months after the sale.

The notice must be as required by Regulation 15 of the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Regulations 2008.

 

20 penalty units

2 penalty units

24B

You must display a notice with the prescribed information about stolen goods:

  • in the correct form, and
  • in a prominent place in each of your business premises to which the public has access, so the notice is clearly visible to the public.
20 penalty units
2 penalty units
26(4)

Any police officer may serve notice under this section on a second-hand dealer or pawnbroker, if the police officer reasonably believes that goods in the possession or under the control of the dealer or pawnbroker may have been stolen.

You must comply with the notice and are prohibited from altering the form of the goods or disposing of them in any way for 21 days from service.

20 penalty units 2 penalty units
r19 You must ensure that the identifying mark or number you assign to second-hand goods remains affixed to the goods at all times until you sell or otherwise dispose of them.
20 penalty units 2 penalty units
r20(3) You must not charge a fee for issuing a pawn ticket. 20 penalty units 2 penalty units
r21 

You must issue a duplicate pawn ticket if a person who pawned goods produces to you:

  • a statutory declaration that the person has lost the pawn ticket or the pawn ticket has been stolen, and
  • evidence of the person's identity.

Documents that are evidence of a person's identity are detailed in section 19(1) of the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1989.

20 penalty units 2 penalty units

r22(1)

You much fix the period of the loan on the security of pawned goods at the time the goods are pawned.

20 penalty units

2 penalty units

r24(3)

You must not purchase goods that have been pawned as security and have not been redeemed at or after the expiration of the period of the loan.

20 penalty units

2 penalty units