Stumpage Fees Of Timber Up…After A Decade

The Forestry Commission (FC) has at last increased the stumpage fees of natural forest timber species after a decade of no upward adjustment. According to information available to The New Crusading GUIDE, the Commission after the last review in July, 2003, has been unable to undertake the expected reviews in compliance with the provisions of the Timber Resources Management Regulations (L.I. 1649) due to overbearing influence of some industry players. The indecision has denied the Commission the needed revenue. The increase took effect on March 1, 2014 after intense pressure had been put on the Commission by its international donors. Stumpage fees for timber species in high demand such as Asanfina has been reviewed from GH¢25.20 to GH¢112.04 representing a 100 percentage increase In order not to over-burden the industry with the full revised fees immediately, the Commission has staggered the increment into three phases. From 1st March 2014, 50% of the revised stumpage fees will be charged, Six months thereafter in September 2014, 75% of the approved stumpage fee will be charged. Then from January 2015, the Commission will resort to the charging of 100% of the approved stumpage fees. With the new approved fees, adequate revenue for landowners and the District Assemblies who rely heavily on the proceeds from the stumpage fee collection is expected to shoot up.