Govt’s ban on scrap metal trade cuts Bahamas Ferries’ freight revenue
The Bahamas Ferries' chief marketing officer, Khaalis Role, has indicated that the ban on the scrap metal trade instituted by the Bahamas government has negatively impacted on business, and has eaten into freight revenues by up to 50 percent.
He also suggested that the local scrap metal industry was not responsible for the rash of copper thefts that have targeted businesses and utility companies.
On July 27, the government enforced a temporary ban on the scrap metal trade, while imposing a permanent ban on all copper exports, under The Export Control (Prohibition of Scrap Metal and Copper) Regulations, 2011.
Readily acknowledging that copper exports had to be banned, Rolle said legitimate scrap metal firms and associated businesses such as his could ill-afford the loss of such critical revenues during these harsh economic times.
He also warned that the ban could have the opposite effect to what government intended as it was likely to increase unemployment, and therefore potential criminal activity. He urged the government to publicly state where it was in its review of the scrap metal industry and development of potential regulations.
"Because of the shut-down of this industry, we're seeing the impact, and given this type of timing we can ill-afford to lose activity that is there and readily available economic activity. We're at the point where we're seeing impact to our business and the Family Island economies."
"I would call for an immediate lifting of the ban, apart from copper, and a more surgical approach to managing and regulating the trade and industry," he said.
Earl Deveaux, minister of the environment, stated last week that draft regulations to regulate the scrap metal industry should be ready to be tabled when Parliament reopens this fall.