Exemptions from certain requirements – second-hand dealers and pawnbrokers

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Exemptions from registration requirements

Some individuals and companies do not have to register as second-hand dealers or pawnbrokers. If you are unsure about whether you must apply for registration, seek independent legal advice.

You do not have to register as a second-hand dealer if you:

  • carry on business exclusively for or on behalf of any charitable, benevolent or philanthropic organisation
  • carry on business at an antique fair event conducted exclusively for or on behalf of any charitable, benevolent or philanthropic organisation
  • are a licensed motor car trader who only trades in second-hand cars and car parts (however you are still required to comply with other requirements under the Second-Hand Dealersa nd Pawnbrokers Act 1989)
  • are a licensed firearms dealer
  • are an auctioneer who has acquired goods for the sole purposes of an auction 
  • are conducting a fundraising appeal in accordance with the Fundraising Act 1998
  • trade in goods subject to hire purchase agreement or bailment.

Exempt persons and businesses

Regulations 8 and 9 of the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers (General, Exemption and Record-Keeping) Regulations 2018 exempt financial institutions and certain other individual businesses from complying with the whole or part of the Act in a limited range of circumstances.

Goods exempt from the whole of the Act

Schedule 1 of the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers (General, Exemption and Record-Keeping) Regulations 2018 lists these low value goods as exempt from the whole of the Act. This means you are not required to comply with the Act or the Regulations when you deal in the following goods:

  • clothing, including footwear
  • kitchenware, including pots, pans and crockery (but you must be registered to trade in electrical or electronic appliances)
  • most domestic whitegoods including refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, clothes driers, ovens and ironing presses (but not including portable or camping refrigerators or microwave ovens)
  • cutlery and glassware, including bottles, where the price paid for the goods by the second-hand dealer is not more than $100
  • goods collected under a local government recycling scheme
  • cans of any kind
  • waste plastic and waste paper materials
  • salvaged building materials including doors, window frames, tiles, bricks and timber
  • factory seconds
  • books, magazines and periodicals.

Rental businesses

You are exempt from the whole Act if you conduct a rental business and sell goods second-hand because they have become used in the course of the rental business.

Goods exempt from identification requirements

If you buy individual items of second-hand furniture listed under Regulation 10(3)(b), for $100 or less, you are exempt from the identification requirements set out in 19(1) of the Act. The types of furniture listed include goods such as tables, bedframes, sofas, shelving units and wardrobes.

This means that for such goods, you do not need to:

  • refuse goods of this class if a seller does not provide identification
  • record details of identification if it is not provided.

Goods exempt from retention requirements

To assist police to track and locate stolen goods, section 21(1) of the Act requires second-hand dealers to retain goods for seven days before selling them.

However, the Regulations exempt the following goods from this requirement:

  • all scrap metal as defined in the Act and the Regulations
  • copper that is a second-hand good (anything that contains more than 80% by weight of copper) subject to the conditions set out below
  • end-of-life motor vehicles, subject to the conditions set out below
  • agricultural, construction or earth moving vehicles
  • goods that have been purchased from a second-hand dealer who has already kept the goods for seven days.

Retention of copper

To be exempt from the requirement to keep second-hand goods containing more than 80% by weight of copper for seven days, you must record photographic evidence of the goods. If you do not retain photographic evidence, you must retain the copper goods for seven days. This requirement is in addition to the record-keeping requirements that you must keep when you buy and deal in second-hand goods.

Retention of motor vehicles

The Regulations set out the following conditions to be satisfied before you will be exempt from the requirement to retain second-hand vehicles for seven days:

  • if the vehicle is more than 15 years old, it must be acquired only for the purpose of demolishing or dismantling
  • if the vehicle is 15 years old or less, it must be entered on the written-off vehicle registry as a statutory write-off.

In all cases, you must also record and retain:

  • the results of a vehicle registration search verifying that it is not stolen, and
  • photographic evidence showing the vehicle identifier, or if that is not possible, any other identifying mark or number.

If you intend to repair or restore a vehicle to be returned to road use, you must retain the vehicle for seven days after acquiring it, before you can sell it.