The Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) is to introduce a new standard permit invoice for the export of timber and wood products come June 1, this year.
Mr Henry Coleman, Contract and Permit Manager of TIDD, announced this at a day's workshop on the new permit invoice for export managers, forwarding agents and officials of banks, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and shipping companies at Takoradi at the weekend.
He said the new permit invoice has security features to check forgery and other malpractices in the transaction process.
Mr Coleman said the existing practice in respect of Timber Export Permit allowed timber exporters to develop and complete export permit invoices for vetting and approval by TIDD.
He said it was becoming increasingly clear that, that practice was being subjected to all kinds of abuses by unscrupulous exporters, thereby making the system insecure.
Mr Coleman said the TIDD and the Forestry Commission have, therefore, put in place measures to ensure that timber products manufacturers and exporters became accountable for the forest resource.
“This has culminated in the provision of Yield and Input/Output data as additional requirements for the processing of Contract of Sale and Export Permit respectively”, he said.
Mr Coleman said, “These requirements from the stand point of TIDD are envisaged to bring about some credibility and assurance that timber and wood products are obtained from legal sources”.
He said the European Union (EU) would sign an agreement with Ghana to prevent illegal timber products from entering the EU market.
Mr Coleman said this meant that, the EU would not buy illegal timber from Ghana and would also not allow EU companies to invest in Ghanaian companies that encourage illegal logging.
He said Timber Export Permit is a very vital document in the export documentation process, that helped to check illegal logging of timber and added that it was important to ensure that all relevant requirements were complied with before the issuance of permit.