Drastic increase in wood tariff export
The Directorate of Forestry Director, Joseph Hailwa announced the increase in processed and unprocessed wood products with immediate effect.
Charcoal and braai wood are not included in the new tarriffs as it is not a raw products qualifying for lower tariffs. Hailwa however said in talking with the Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU) that the high tariffs could be reviewed.
The reason behind the move is to discourage farmers to export raw unprocessed wood products. “They want to encourage farmers to create employment to add value before the product leaves the country,” NAU said.
Hailwa spoke to the Economist and said that inflation also contributed to the increase. Citing another reason Hailwa said the increase is to allow for loopholes in the issuing of permits for transporting and harvesting as well as in preventing in some instances communal resources from being over exploited.
“In some instances the permit allowed more days to harvest than actually needed,” Hailwa said.
Although not for profit, the new permits Hailwa said will go towards the ministry’s operations. The normal export permit for processed wood per 30 tonne load sky rocketed form N$120 to N$300.
The Directorate is of the opinion that it is fair considering that the last the price per load was received four years ago. Unprocessed wood 30 tonne tariffs also increased from N$120 to N$900
The higher tariffs for the export of wood products came into effect December last year. Regional offices are prepared to explain the new tariffs with farmers in the respective areas or by contacting the ministry.
The NAU however said that the new tariffs for unprocessed wood might be very high hinting at talks at a possible review of the tariffs.