The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana has urged the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to halt the seizure of consignments of rosewood for exportation.
Mr Samson Awingobit Asaki, Executive Secretary of the Association, told reporters, on Wednesday, that the Ministry should have given a moratorium to rosewood exporters to roundup their activities before the implementation of the ban.
Mr Asaki said: “instead of an overnight enforcement, a month or two moratorium should have been given to them”.
He stated that the Ministry did not officially inform the Association about the ban for its members to be educated on the issue before its implementation.
According to him, the retention of containers containing rosewood had led to some exporters incurring cost as they had already prepared the consignment before the ban.
He said his outfit had received a number of complaints from the exporters who said they had invested a lot of money into preparing the wood for exportation only for the ban to be enforced.
Mr Asaki said executive members of the Association had, therefore, written to Nii Osah Mills, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, to meet with him to deliberate on the issue.
The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority in August intercepted 51 containers of Rosewood being smuggled out of the country.
The interception followed a July 15, directive issued by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources on the ban on the exportation of rosewood as a measure to prevent deforestation.
In October last year, the government announced an indefinite ban on the harvesting and exportation of Rosewood timber to be effective on January 1st 2014.
The Sector Minister at the time, Alhaji Innusah Fuseini, who made the announcement, Forestry Commission was to ensure that the ban was brought to the notice of the timber industry while steps were taken to sensitize the public at large.
Experts describe rosewoods as a variety of richly hued timbers, often brownish with darker veining.
Rosewoods are said to be strong, heavy, and excellent with polish. They make fine guitars, marimbas, furniture, luxury floors, and other wood works.