Gov’t Suspends Scrap Metal Exports


Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, yesterday (Oct. 30) announced the suspension of all exports of scrap metal until an assessment of the trade is done.
In a statement in the House of Representatives, Mr. Samuda informed that the Chief Parliamentary Counsel had been instructed to prepare a Ministerial Order to allow for the suspension, which should be ready by today.
“I expect that I will sign it (today) so that it can be gazetted immediately. The order will stop all exports of scrap metal until a complete assessment of the trade is undertaken,” he stated. According to Minister Samuda, the problem of persons stealing public property such as bridge railings and manhole covers, as well as private property to be sold as scrap metal for export, had reached crisis proportions and could no longer be allowed to continue. He explained that after the order is gazetted all legitimate exporters of scrap metal will require an export licence in order to engage in the export of these products. “In addition, there will be rigorous monitoring by the relevant arms of Government including the Jamaica Constabulary Force, to ensure that only legitimate persons, who have shown proof of purchase, will be able to export scrap metal,” Mr. Samuda informed.
Persons, who cannot show legitimate proof of purchase, will not be permitted to engage in the trade of scrap metals, he stated. “I am therefore warning all scrap metal dealers to ensure that found in their possession, are metals for which proof of purchase can be furnished,” he warned.
Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry, in his support for the move, noted that the country cannot afford to “lose this kind of infrastructure (bridge railings and manhole covers) illegally in the country.” The scrap metal trade is very lucrative and the Jamaica Exporters Association reports that exports of the product moved from US$13.3 million in 2005 to US$99.58 million in 2006.

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