Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Two fined for operating without sawmill licences

Published:Wednesday | April 26, 2017 | 4:36 AM

Two men have been fined after they were found guilty of operating without a sawmill licence when they appeared in the Hanover Parish Court, on April 18.

Alrick Grant of a Lucea address was charged with trading in locally produced lumber without a licence and Prince Phillips, also of a Lucea address, was charged with storing locally produced lumber without a licence.

Both were fined $10,000 each or will serve ten months imprisonment in default of payment.

According to acting enforcement manager at the Forestry Department, Sean Munroe, members of the agency’s enforcement branch conducted a series of joint police operations in several parishes across the island to follow up on Notices of Contravention previously served on individuals.

“As a result of these joint operations individuals were issued final warnings regarding non-compliance with sections of the Forest Act and accompanying Regulations applicable to the operations of sawmills, trading, storing and purchasing locally produced timber.

“Consequently, two individuals were brought before the Hanover Parish Court. The individuals pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulations 25 and were fined,” said Munroe.

He added that the Forestry Department is in the process of bringing additional persons before the courts and will continue its joint operations with the police across the island in order to ensure strict compliance with the forest laws.

Under the Forest Regulations, 2001 persons who use machinery or equipment to saw or cut logs into planks, boards, slabs or any other form of sawn or cut timber or persons who trade in or store locally produced lumber must have a licence to conduct these activities.

To get the licence, operators of sawmills must complete an application form and once approved, pay an annual fee of $15,000. The licence is valid for one calendar year.