Catalytic Converter Legislation: Staying Updated on Converter Regulations

Staying Updated on Converter Regulations

With the rise in catalytic converter theft came the surge in converter legislation and regulations. Elected officials in some local and state governments drafted stringent converter laws to discourage thieves, but the sad reality is, legitimate converter recyclers feel discouraged too.

To continue buying and selling converters, these new laws ask that you provide legal documentation – permits, business registration, proof of vehicle ownership, and more. The paperwork and evolving converter regulations may seem complicated, and we understand your concerns about operational risks because of paperwork lapses.

But with the right guidance, you won’t have to put an end to your converter operations or put it on hold. You’ll stay well-informed about relevant legislation in your area, allowing you to provide the necessary documents and keep profiting from your business confidently. So if you’re ready to get informed, keep reading!

Why Are Converters Valuable?

Catalytic converters are valuable because of the precious metals they contain. Platinum, palladium, and rhodium act as a catalyst that transforms harmful pollutants into less damaging emissions. Once converters are scrapped and enter the recycling stream, the metals are extracted and sold on the open market.

Why is Recycling Converters so Important?

The United States Department of the Interior considers platinum group metals critical minerals, sustaining hundreds of vital industries such as medical equipment manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and hydrogen fuel cells.

As of 2021, recycled catalytic converters represented 23% of the global supply of PGMs. When we recycle converters, we’re not only contributing to the sustainability of these crucial industries but also reducing our dependence on mining and preserving our environment for future generations.

It's for these reasons that catalytic converters are the crux of business for many scrap metal and automotive recyclers – and why thieves covet them.

What Are Your Elected Officials Doing About Converter Theft & How You Can Stay Informed about Converter Legislation

Keeping up with local, state, and national laws regulating converter transactions is easy when you know where to look. A quick internet search using keywords such as “catalytic converter”, “laws”, and “bills” will generate the latest news on the subject and what your elected officials are doing about it.

But for added guidance, we’ll help you identify official websites to bookmark, ensuring you’re following all regulatory guidelines and staying well-informed.

Local Websites

You can visit your city’s official website and search the municipal code. For example, the city of Los Angeles passed a bill on June 5th on the prohibition of illegal possession of converters. Recyclers in Los Angeles should be visiting the city’s website to stay well informed about changes to the municipal code.

We suggest favoriting your city’s official website, if applicable, and visiting the municipal code regularly. This way, you’ll remain informed of any changes in the law.

State Websites

To track state bills and acts affecting the converter recycling industry, visit Bill Track 50 or the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s webpage. These platforms show current session bills, allowing you to browse through bills that are in committee, declined, or enacted. Once you select the bill and state of your choice, you’ll be redirected to the official state website, enabling you to access the details of the bill.

National Websites

For Americans, visit the website’s advanced search tool. Type “catalytic converter” under the Words and Phrases tool to discover the bills that regulate converter trade. If you’re not in the United States, simply visit the official website of your country’s government and search for any bills regulating converter trade.

With internet searches and official websites covered, let’s move on to what you can do to ensure you’re following the law.

Having the Right Documentation

To buy and sell catalytic converters legally, many states require documentation. Be sure to check your official websites to make sure you’re requesting and providing the right paperwork.

Here's a few documents to start:

  • Request/provide photo ID and vehicle identification numbers (VINs)
  • Verify your seller’s business registration and make sure yours is up-to-date
  • Request/provide proof of all recycling licenses and permits demanded by local and state law

If you’re buying converters on-site, here’s how to spot stolen units and keep them out of your facility:

  • Converters that appear brand-new and shiny
  • No proof of vehicle ownership
  • Cash-only transactions with no other payment alternatives
  • Sellers who only own converters and lack dismantling connections
  • Sellers who accept any offer without negotiation

Ensuring Constant Profitable Revenue

We understand that the skyrocketing theft of catalytic converters can create a concerning environment for you. But converters remain a profitable revenue stream and add value to your recycling ventures at large. Don’t let changing converter legislation discourage you from doing business confidently.

Take the right steps and stay informed about catalytic converter laws and regulations. This way, you’ll have the right documentation, make the right choices, and continue doing business confidently.

For more information, visit PMR’s Responsible Sourcing guidelines or call one of our Representatives.

Published: October 20, 2023
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