Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (246)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

246. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the outcome of the consultation process on the regulation of the cash for gold trade from 2015 (details supplied); his plans to undertake another round of consultation; the number of submissions received in respect of the 2015 consultation; the number of cash for gold shops here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51225/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

A consultation took place on the regulation of the ‘Cash for Gold’ trade in 2015. A total of six submissions were received following this public consultation, many of which had common proposals for introducing safeguards to prevent stolen items of jewellery being sold to businesses trading in precious metals and stones. This public consultation was a valuable contribution to the work within my Department regarding the ‘Cash for Gold’ trade.

In addition to that public consultation, officials from my Department also met with relevant parties, including An Garda Síochána and other Government Departments and stakeholders, during 2018 to allow them to input their views on the issue.I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department is currently drafting a Bill in relation to the purchase of precious metals by registered outlets from the public.

The Bill will create a licensing system for any dealers in ‘Cash for Gold’ or other precious metals and will require verification of the identity and so on of those selling precious metals second hand. It is intended that breaches of the requirements set out in the Bill will be a criminal offence. The Bill will also provide additional powers to An Garda Síochána in respect of premises where ‘Cash for Gold’ transactions take place.

While no further formal consultation has yet been planned, the Department will be publishing the general scheme of the Bill on its website, following approval of the Government. As with any Bill, interested parties will be able to submit views once the general scheme has been made publicly available.

My Department does not maintain a record of the number of cash for gold shops in Ireland.