Scrap Metals Export Banned
The legislation known as Ferrous Scrap Metals (Prohibition of Export) Regulations, 2013 (L.I.2201) came into force yesterday after the mandatory 21 parliamentary sitting days, making it a criminal offence to export scrap metals.
Presenting their report before the House endorsed the legislation, Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament Osei Bonsu Amoah popularly known as O. B. Amoah observed that there had been significant investment by local steel mills and manufacturing industries to process scrap metals for the construction sector.
Research has shown that the country's scrap generation was enough to meet the demand of existing industries as in 2001 about 110,000 tonnes of scrap metals was found to be available in the country.
However, the exportation of these metals have led to unavailability of raw materials for several large scale steel manufacturers such as Tema Steel, Western Castles and Western Steel, and Forgings, compelling them to operate below 40 percent of full capacity.
According to O. B. Amoah who is also the Member of Parliament for Akuapim South in the Eastern Region, his committee was informed that the uncontrolled export of scrap metals has often resulted in the shortage of these materials in the country.
'In this regard, a ban of the exportation of ferrous scrap would ensure that local companies would have required quantities of the scrap metals for their operations,' he pointed out, adding 'this would also enhance the profitability of the companies and increase their capacity to create employment and also reduce the foreign exchange expended on the importation of billets as raw materials for steel mills in the country.'
The Subsidiary Legislation Committee Chairman told the House his committee had been informed that the Ministry of Trade and Industry had carried out extensive consultation with Scrap Metals Dealers, the Steel Companies and other stakeholders in the industry and had instituted measures to ensure that metal dealers were treated fairly.
His committee, he added, further observed that the Regulation/Legislation provided for the establishment of a Scrap Metal Monitoring Committee to oversee the implementation of the law.
The committee consisted of representatives from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and the Standards Authority.
Other members included representatives from Ghana Association of Industries (AGI), the Steel Manufacturers Association and the Scrap Metal Dealers Association.
The Monitoring Committee would be required to report to the Minister for Trade and Industry on all matters relating to the prohibition on the exportation of ferrous scrap metals.
Trade and Industry Minister Haruna Iddrisu whose ministry sponsored the legislation indicated the country's steel manufacturers could not even get 40 percent of raw materials needed.
This, he lamented, had affected the companies' production levels and their capacity to employ more people in the manufacturing sector.
The export of scrap metals, he further bemoaned, had contributed to theft of telephone cables made of copper, badly affecting the operations of telecom companies in the country.
The Trade and Industry Minister who is also the MP for Tamale South hinted he would be placing an administrative ban on the exportation of copper, the metal which was largely responsible for cable theft.
By Awudu Mahama