Government gets tough on sawmill industry
Effective January next year, all sawmill and power saw operators must be registered and licensed with the Forestry Department to operate legally in Jamaica.
The new policy, which falls under the Forest Regulations of 2001, is aimed at regulating the island’s sawmilling industry and providing greater protection for the country’s forests.
Permanent Secretary in the Land and Environment Ministry, Alwin Hayles, says the programme is a well-needed intervention in the Government’s efforts to preserve the island’s forests.
Under the licensing system, persons who intend to operate sawmills must receive a licence from the Forestry Department.
They must pay an application fee of 15,000 and once granted, the licence is valid for one calendar year.
Hayles points out that any sawmill operator found to be in breach of the requirement will be liable for prosecution and could be fined a maximum of 50,000 or up to a year in prison at hard labour.
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