Scrap metal exportation to resume on April 8 −Minister Walrond
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Hon. Oneidge Walrond says the exportation of scrap metal will resume on April 8.
The Minister made this announcement during an engagement with scrap metal dealers on Thursday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
“We want to facilitate your trade. We want to create an enabling environment for economic activity to resume, especially in this sector. We have called upon the GRA, the Home Affairs and CANU to assist us with this process because security is such a large portion of the trade.”
Minister Walrond also said the Ministry has established an internal Scrap Metal Trade Unit, and an external unit to inspect the containers. The unit comprises personnel from the Guyana Police Force, the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit, the Guyana Revenue Authority, Digicel, the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company Limited and E-Networks Incorporated.
She outlined the standard operating procedures for scrap metal exportation in container examinations, which a document was specially developed for and shared with the exporters in attendance.
Minister Walrond informed stakeholders of the guidelines under which the sector is reopening. Cabinet made the decision to reopen and the requirements are non-negotiable.
The Minister also pointed out that one of the non-negotiable terms under which the trade is reopening is that it will only be available to licensed scrap metal dealers. For the time being, the Ministry is not considering any new applications from prospective scrap metal exporters as it streamlines and tightens the trade processes.
“We took this long to get this unit back on track to try to fill as many gaps, which existed under the previous operations of the trade, and we believe this is a work in progress.”
The Ministry will also only be authorising dealers to pack scrap iron from specific and approved scrap metal yards with the need for at least 24 hours closed circuit television (CCTV) footage as prerequisite.
During the interactive session, dealers raised several concerns including the need for the extension of the exportation license. Meanwhile, the Head of the Customs Anti Narcotic Unit, Mr. James Singh said the staff is working eagerly to ensure they are able to promptly supervise the packing of these containers. This would in turn avoid the unnecessary delay in export shipments.