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Thinking about sending a phone or other item to a recycler? Things you should know!

In the last few months there has been a major improvement in the way recyclers ensure they are not handling goods that are deemed not to be in the hands of the rightful owner.

They do this by consulting the CheckMEND database as part of their checking process and if they discover certain facts about the phone they have a legal requirement to act in a predefined manner which you should be aware of.

If any of the following records exist for the item you are sending to a recycler:

  • A block by the UK networks on the Shared Equipment Identity Register (SEIR) also known as the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)
  • A loss or theft report on the Police Stolen Equipment National Database (SEND)
  • A fulfilled insurance claim on the Identifiable Property Insurance Database (IPCD)

Then the recycler has an obligation under their Code of Practice to do certain things:

  • They must tell you there is a problem and give you the details on how to contact CheckMEND so we can tell you which records are present and how you may go about getting them updated to allow the sale to proceed.
  • They must tell CheckMEND about the failure to pass the testing so that CheckMEND may inform the Police, Insurer or Network that originated the record.
  • They must hold the phone for 28 days to allow you to get the records updated or the record originator to claim the item or contact you.
  • If at the end of the 28 days the records have not been updated or the phone claimed as above, the recycler is deemed to be the legal owner of the handset and is required to dispose of the item responsibly.
  • The recycler CANNOT in these circumstances return the item to you or pay you for it. To do either would risk offences under The Theft Act or Proceeds Of Crime Act.

How can you protect yourself?

  • If you are buying a used item, always ask the seller for a CheckMEND certificate or run a check yourself before buying.
  • Always run a check on CheckMEND beforeyou send an item to a recycler or otherwise try to sell it on.
  • If you get a red result on any of the checks shown on the certificate DO NOT send the phone to a recycler until you have got the records updated and the check shows the phone as green, at which point you can send in the item.
  • Sometimes, unscrupulous sellers will supply an item and only weeks or months later report it as lost/stolen or claim on their insurance. This is rare but in this case, your item could fall foul of the above rules after you had a green CheckMEND check and sent it to a recycler. If you are refused payment for your item in this manner as a result of a block, theft report or insurance claim CheckMEND will refund to you the cost of the check. (Not the cost of the item).

If you would like more information on the Recyclers’ code of practice please visit their web site http://www.stoprecycledstolenphones.com