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Computerised records 

Do I need to keep computerised records?
Are there exemptions from keeping computerised records?

Do I need to keep computerised records? 

Pawnbrokers and second-hand dealers are required to, as a condition of their licence, keep computer records. Some exemptions may apply refer to the section on exemptions below.

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What am I required to do with these records? 

The law requires pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers who must keep computer records, to electronically transfer those computer records to the NSW Police, within 3 working days of the record being made via the electronic Weblink System (internet). If licensees require further information in relation to this process, they should contact the:

Pawnbrokers Unit
Operational Information Agency
NSW Police Service
Tel. 8835 7818

Licensees who are not required to keep computer records, are only required to send their manual records to the police, if so requested.

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What computer software do I need? 

The NSW Police Service have prepared computer software specifications (‘Pawnbroker and Second-Hand Dealer System Software Specification’), which was originally released in December 2002.

The latest version of these specifications were released in September 2004, this version includes amendments to the legislation that commenced on 31 March 2005.

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Can I develop software to police specifications? 

The September 2004 specification is to be used by software designers or licensees, if they so choose, to develop computer software which will enable licensees to capture records in accordance with the requirements under the legislation.

Any person developing software may arrange for an early test to be made of sample data by the Pawnbrokers Unit, Operational Information Agency, NSW Police Service on 8835 7818.

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Where can I get the computer software I need? 

Licensees who intend to buy software from a developer may contact the following industry associations for information about software providers:

  • Pawnbrokers Association
    Mr Laurie White
    Tel. 9724 2072
  • Jewellers Association
    Tel. 9262 2862
  • Antique Dealers Association
    Tel. 9326 1319

Any enquiries with respect to specification of software or technical requirements should be directed to the NSW Police Service on 8835 7818.

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Are there exemptions from keeping computerised records? 

The law exempts some existing small scale second-hand dealers from the requirement to keep computer records.

The exemption will be granted, on a yearly basis, to second-hand dealers who held a second-hand dealers licence immediately prior to the commencement of the Pawnbrokers and Second-Hand Dealers Act 1996, if the gross receipts of their business relating to all used goods (that is, not just those second-hand goods prescribed in the Pawnbrokers and Second-Hand Dealers Regulation) totalled $150,000 or less in the previous financial year.

Pawnbrokers are not eligible for the exemption.

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Why are only small scale dealers exempt? 

The Government has decided to limit the exemption to small scale second-hand dealers who held a licence immediately before the commencement of the Act and Regulation on 30 April 1997. The basis for this decision is that it would be unfair to impose this requirement on such small scale dealers who, at the time of first becoming licensed, could not have been aware of this future obligation.

It is considered that licence holders who have entered the second-hand dealing industry after the legislation came into force should have been aware of this requirement and should therefore be required to comply with it.

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When can a licensee apply for exemption? 

An application for an exemption must be made at the time a licence application or renewal is made. An exemption is only granted on a yearly basis.

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What documentation is required with an application? 

An application for an exemption must be supported by:

  1. the applicant’s income tax return or audited financial statement for the previous financial year, and
  2. a statutory declaration by the applicant declaring that the gross receipts of their business relating to used goods totalled $150,000 or less in the previous financial year

If the applicant does not have the above documentation from the previous financial year, they can use documentation from the financial year before that.

If a licensee has relied on documents which relate to the financial year before the previous financial year, for the purpose of gaining an exemption from keeping computer records, the licensee must make available to the Director General the prescribed documents which relate to the previous financial year, within 14 days of such documents becoming available to the licensee.

If, at any time after the issue or renewal of a licence that does not contain a condition requiring the keeping of computer records, the Director General is satisfied that the gross receipts for the licensee’s business relating to used goods totalled more than $150,000 in the previous financial year, the Director General may impose a condition of that kind on the licensee. Any such condition would take effect 90 days after written notice of the condition is given to the licensee.

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