At the start of 2015, the Agency introduced sawmill licences as it moved to improve monitoring and regulation of activities in the local timber industry.
Many of you might have heard about the Agency’s Sawmill Licensing Programme, but do you know what it is, who needs a licence and how to get a licence?
Here are some quick facts about the Sawmill licensing programme, which is overseen by the Agency’s Legal and Enforcement Division.
1. What are sawmilling activities?
Sawmilling activities include any or all of the following:
· Operating machinery that is capable of converting locally produced timber into sawn board/planks
· Storing locally produced lumber
· Trading locally produced lumber
· Purchasing locally produced lumber
2. Why should eligible persons get a sawmill licence?
Since January 1, 2015, persons found operating a sawmill without a licence, are liable for prosecution. Offenders could be fined up to $50,000 and in default of payment spend up to a year in prison for operating without a licence.
3. What does each application and
Each application and licence covers up to a maximum of: ·
· Two portable power saws
· One power saw and one wood miser
· One lumber yard
4. What is the process to acquire a sawmill licence?
· Step One: Complete an application form, which is available at the Agency’s offices across the island and on the website. The applicant must have a valid Tax Registration Number (TRN) in order to apply.
· Step Two: Submit the completed form and pay the non-refundable application fee of $250 (If the applications are completed accurately and the fee is paid, there is a maximum processing time of fourteen business days.
· Step Three: On approval, the applicant will be contacted and required to pay the licence fee of $15,000 (A licence is valid for one calendar year running from January 1 to December 31).
· Step Four: Collect the licence. Contact the Legal & Enforcement Division to learn more about the Agency’s Sawmill Licensing Programme.
If you know anyone who should apply for a sawmill licence, we urge you to encourage them to contact the Forestry Department to start the process.