Mozambique bans export of unprocessed timber logs under new law

  • December 2, 2016

Mozambique bans the export of unprocessed timber logs.  Mozambican Parliament unanimously passed the second and final reading of the bill on Thursday. This is a step forward to protect the country’s hardwood forests.

The new law will come into effect on 1 January 2017, under which semi-processed timber (such as beams, planks and parquet) may be exported, but will be subjected to an export tax. There will be no tax on the export of finished wooden goods, such as furniture.

The law is expected to halt the devastation of the southern African country’s forests which is experiencing depletion. The issue of illegal logging in the country has also been identified as a key source of revenue loss to the government.

China is the main importer of wood from Mozambique – and there have been incidents of Chinese nationals participating in logging without a licence. Chinese traders according to the environmental research organization, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) accountred for over 90% of Mozambican timber exports.

Celso Correia, the minister for land, environment and rural development is quoted in an article published in the UK Guardian as saying, “We are cleaning the house now”, in reference to the corruption and illegal logging that has dogged the country’s timber sector for more than a decade.

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