Importers, Exporters Appeal To Ministry

Samson Asaki Awingobit
The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana has called on the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to halt the seizure of consignment of rosewood for exportation.

Samson Awingobit Asaki, Executive Secretary of the Association told the press on Wednesday that the Ministry should have given a moratorium to rosewood exporters to roundup their activities before the implementation of the ban. Mr Asaki said ‘instead of an overnight enforcement, a month or two moratorium should have been given to them.’

He stated that the Ministry did not officially inform the Association of the ban for its members to be educated on the issue before its implementation.

According to him, the retention of containers containing rosewood had led to some exporters incurring cost as they had already prepared the consignment before the ban.

He said his outfit had received complaints from the exporters who said they had invested a lot of money into preparing the wood for exportation only for the ban to come into force.

Mr Asaki said executive members of the Association have therefore written to Nii Osah Mills, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, to meet him and deliberate on the issue.

The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in August intercepted 51 containers of rosewood being smuggled out of the country.

The interception followed a July 15, 2014 directive issued by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources banning the exportation of rosewood to prevent deforestation.

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