ELLANIE SMIT - WINDHOEK
The issuing of timber transportation permits will resume after a standstill since March, the environment ministry has announced.
However, the harvesting of new timber remains prohibited.
The ministry said in a statement that strict conditions have been implemented, which include that local timber transportation and processing will be given priority and that timber logs and blocks may only be loaded and transported during the day.
No export permits will be issued for unprocessed timber in accordance with regulations of the Forest Act, and timber intended for export should be processed into planks that are no more than 5cm thick.
Presence of officials
Timber processed to the final stage of use may be exported under the export permit issued by the forestry officials of Namibia, said the ministry.
It added that both processed and unprocessed timber may be transported from any place of origin to any processing plant or factory in the country.
The ministry said all timber to be transported must be loaded in trucks in the presence of officials, and that neither transportation nor export permits will be issued without verification.
“Timber and timber products transported without a permit will be confiscated and culprits will be arrested and charged in accordance to the law.”
The ministry added that timber at Walvis Bay will only be allowed to be exported if all documents are in order.
Timber will only leave the country once all the required documents are obtained from the relevant authority, the ministry added.
Furthermore, forestry officials will inspect wood factories, while law enforcement agencies may also assist in carrying out operations.
“Law enforcement agencies may stop any vehicles loaded with timber to request for appropriate permits.”
It added that timber coming from other countries may be processed in Namibia or transit through the country, but is to be done under close supervision.
The ministry urged foreign buyers who procure unprocessed timber products to make use of local factories to process timber into a primary product in full compliance of the law.
SOURCE: Namibian Sun