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Earth Today | Public reminded of licensing requirement to operate sawmill

Published:Thursday | July 7, 2022 | 12:07 AM

THE PUBLIC has been reminded of the need to obtain a licence for the operation of a sawmill, including portable power saws, in line with requirements under Jamaica’s Forest Regulations (2001).

This follows the conviction of a man caught operating a power saw without a licence and who was fined $10,000 or 10 days imprisonment in default of payment, in the Manchester Parish Court in Christiana on June 10.

The accused, who is of an address in Trelawny, pleaded guilty to unlawfully transporting and using a sawmill without a valid licence in breach of Regulation 25 of the Forest Regulations, 2001. He has been given until the July 8 to pay the fine.

Tanika Stewart, senior director, Forest Enforcement Services at the Forestry Department, said that Livingston must also obtain the required licence for the power saw.

“In addition to the fine of $10,000 or 10 days imprisonment, [he] has to get a sawmill licence. The fee to apply for the licence is $250 and the cost of the licence is $15,000 and it is valid for a calendar year,” Stewart said.

She is appealing to all persons who have yet to obtain a sawmill licence to apply. Under Regulation 25(1)(a) of the Forest Regulations, 2001, a licence is required to drive, transport or use in any place a sawmill of any type or make. The definition of sawmill encompasses portable power saws.

A licence is also required for the owner of a sawmill to authorise its use or operation, and for persons that trade, store or purchase locally produced lumber, including furniture stores.

A Factories Registration Certificate is required where the activity falls within the definition of a factory under Section 2 of the Factories Act. The Forestry Department has acquired a fiat from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions regarding offences under the Forest Act and Forest Regulations, 2001, and will be actively enforcing its legal mandate.

Persons wishing to obtain information on the sawmill licensing process may contact the Forestry Department’s Legal and Forest Enforcement Services Division at (876) 618-3205 or visit the agency’s website, to learn more.