Export levy on some logs to rise

The export commission on popular log species is to be increased from January next year as government moves to dissuade the exportation of logs and to allow for more value-added activities in the country.

Initially, the export commission will increase from 2% to 7% then to 10% in 2010 and 12% in 2011. President Bharrat Jagdeo made the announcement following a meeting at the Office of the President with the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and the Forest Pro-ducts Association (FPA) yesterday.

A press release from the Government Information Agency (GINA) said that the president explained that the decision was taken following concerns by various stakeholders during discussions on the issue some time ago that there was need for the stimulation of more value-added activities in Guyana and for downstream processors of logs to receive adequate supplies of materials in the country which they were not receiving due to high prices.

“We met with them and they were advocating a ban on the export of logs. We met with the FPA and they, of course did not want any ban. There were various proposals explored, including an export commission as a disincentive to the export of logs”, the president was quoted as saying.

The release said that about a year ago government examined the issue at the international level and found that several countries have either banned log exports or imposed an export levy and as such the decision was made.

Asked to comment on the dispute between the GFC and Toolsie Persaud Limited (TPL) which saw TPL’s forestry operations being ordered closed by the GFC, President Jagdeo said that he is yet to examine the report submitted to him.

He however warned that if companies are found breaching the forestry regulations they would have to face the consequences.

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