‘Mission impossible’: antique and charity stores have to register goods
A new law to prevent dealing in stolen goods is set to cause chaos in the antique and thrift store world.
Current affairs programme Nieuwsuur reports that a new digital register, being rolled out and run by local municipalities, is intended to dissuade thieves but is causing unnecessary bureaucracy.
Roeland Kramer antique dealer at Kramer Kunst & Antiek in Amsterdam, said he would have to register hundreds of thousands of items including 6,000 antique bottles and 5,000 plates – each of which takes 10 minutes to picture, describe and register online.
‘You need to take a photo, upload it, put a description alongside, the measurements and a report on its condition,’ he said. ‘It is mission impossible – that’s clear.’
Second hand and charity shops also need to register some of their collections from the 150 million donations they are thought to receive each year. De Lokatie, a thrift store in Amsterdam, said it will be quite a task.
‘We have to register bikes, which we already had to do for the local council, jewellery, art, and – a very difficult category for us – electrical goods,’ said spokeswoman Leonie Reinders. ‘It will take an awful lot of time for the people who work here, people who have had impediments in finding work. People who bring donations will have to show identity papers, register everything, which takes time and perhaps they don’t want to do, so they will probably take them to the recycling centre instead.’
However, police said that the register was an important deterrent. Sybren van der Velden Walda, who heads a national unit to combat dealing in stolen goods, told Nieuwsuur: ‘This is a part of the crackdown on dealing in stolen goods. It is important, because on the one hand, we are frustrating the market for stolen goods if there is nowhere to sell them on, and we are also creating detection capabilities for the police so that they can find out more about the perpetrators about this sort of crime.’
Dutch News has contacted the Dutch justice ministry to ask why donations to charity shops need to be registered.
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