Exemptions from registration – second-hand dealers and pawnbrokers

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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.

Exemptions from the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1989

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
  • 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

Regulation 8 of the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers (Exemption) Regulations 2008 lists a small number of businesses that are individually exempted.

Regulations 6 and 7 exempt second-hand dealers and financial institutions from complying with the whole or part of the Act in a limited range of circumstances.

Exempt goods

The Schedule of the Second-Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers (Exemption) Regulations 2008 lists these low value goods as exempt from the Act:

  • clothing, including footwear
  • kitchenware, including pots, pans and crockery (but you must be registered to trade in electrical or electronic appliances)
  • domestic whitegoods including refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, clothes driers, ovens and ironing presses. However, you must be registered to trade in 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 $50
  • 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
  • ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal (but you must be registered to trade in goods containing copper, gold or silver).

Note: Individual items of second-hand furniture, for which the second-hand dealer pays $100 or less, are exempted from the identification requirements of section 19(1) of the Act.

This means that a dealer does not need to:

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

A dealer purchasing a tractor engine or certain earthmoving and agricultural motor vehicles is exempted from complying with section 21(1) of the Act, which requires the goods to be held in the same condition for seven days.

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