As from December 2014 the tariffs for the export of wood products from Namibia were drastically increased. The tariff for processed wood increased from N$120 to N$300 per 30ton load and the tariff for unprocessed wood products increased from N$120 to N$900. To discuss these increases, Danie van Vuuren from the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) visited the Director of Forestry.
The Directorate’s strategy behind this drastic increase is to discourage farmers to export raw unprocessed wood products. They want to encourage farmers to create employment to add value before the product leaves the country. Charcoal and braai wood, cut and packed before exporting, are not a raw products anymore and thus qualify for the lower export tariffs. According to the Directorate, the interpretation at their offices might differ, but the issue will be discussed in detail. If farmers experience problems with the interpretation at the regional offices, they should request the regional office to contact Vincent Louw or Hailwa.
The Directorate’s office also admitted that the new tariffs for unprocessed wood might be very high and undertook to discuss this with their role players in government to see whether the tariffs can be reviewed. The Directorate pointed out that the normal export permit for processed wood, which increased from N$120 to N$300 (per 30 ton load), was last reviewed four years ago and it thus represents a four year term which, according to them, is fair.