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Issuance of Sawmill License

The Conservator of Forests, in accordance with the Sawmill Act: Section 4:4, may grant a licence to operate a Sawmill under the following terms and conditions:

  • Application FORM F: 19 to be filled out and submitted by the Owner of Sawmill.

Application FORM F: 19 must be accompanied by:

  • Appendix I – SAWMILL RETURNS which gives a total of input and output quantities processed for the past year and is derived from the Sawmill Register.
  • Appendix II – SAWMILL INSPECTION REPORT which must be checked by the Forester I in charge of the particular Range in which the Sawmill is located and must be countersigned and recommended by the Forester III or Assistant Conservator of Forests.
  • A copy of a layout plan of the sawmill compound.
  • A copy of the licence for the previous year. (if one was applied for)
  • A lay-out plan of the compound must be submitted by indicating the log yard, the lumberyard, waste disposal areas, the milling area and the office.
  • The Sawmill Owner must clearly identify the area of his/her sawmill compound. The sawmill compound must not be less than 10,000 square feet in size. A cadastral sheet is required.
  • All land and building taxes should be paid. Receipt of payment for the previous year required.
  • The application for a sawmill licence must be accompanied by all relevant approvals.
  • Once a sawmill licence is granted, the sawmill Owner is required to follow the standard operational procedure for annual licencing of a sawmill and comply with all conditions stipulated on the various approvals.
  • Pursuant to the Sawmills Act, 66:02, each licence issued to a Sawmill expires on the 31st day of December of the year during which it is granted.
  • Sawmill licence are Annual Licence and become due on January 01, of any year. Failure to do so means that a Sawmill will be deemed to be operating without a licence and is liable to a fine of $100,000.00 and imprisonment for one year according to the Sawmills Act, Chapter 66:02 and amended by Act No. 24 of 1999.

Criteria for the Grant of a Sawmill Licence

Pursuant to the Sawmills Act, Chapter 66:02, no person shall operate a sawmill unless he is duly authorised under this Act. The Act speaks to the power of the Conservator of Forests, to grant a licence subject to terms and conditions as he may deem fit. The Conservator also has the power to refuse to issue licences, as well as suspend or revoke any such licence issued by him upon any breach by the licensee of a sawmill and/or his agent. Any person aggrieved by the withholding, suspension or revocation of any licences may, not later than one month after the withholding, suspension of revocation, appeal to the Minister.

A sawmill licence is not transferable. In order to be considered for a sawmill licence, the Sawmills Act states the following administrative procedures:

  1. Applications for sawmill licences must be made in writing to the Conservator of Forests via the approved application Form for each sawmill.
  2. All applications must be signed by the owner or his agent.
  3. No sawmill licences shall be issued until the prescribed fee has been paid.

It is to be noted that the grant of a sawmill licence does not supersede or negate the responsibility of the owner from obtaining other statutory approvals that are required by other legislation(s) in particular, Town and Country Planning Act, the Environmental Management (EM) Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, etc.

With regards to the EM Act, Section 38 (3) provides that where upon an application for a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC), the EMA determines that an EIA is required then no other Authority may grant any other licence or permit until the CEC has been granted. Thus the Conservator of Forests would have to enquire from the EMA that it requires an EIA for the issue of a CEC for those sawmills established after the enactment of the CEC Rules (2001). In order to obtain a sawmill licence, the Conservator of Forests has to be assured that the sawmill can operate in a manner to efficiently process timber in accordance with industry best practices.

Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions made pursuant to Section 4(4) of the Sawmills Act are as follows:

  1. the sawmill compound must be no less than ten thousand (10,000) square feet.
  2. the sawmill compound should include the following minimal components:
    1. a log yard,
    2. the lumberyard,
    3. the waste disposal areas,
    4. the milling area; and
    5. the Administrative office.
  1. equipment to:
    1. process logs into boards, planks or scantlings at a rate of 800 board ft/24 hrs
    2. re-saw boards, planks or scantlings into boards, planks or scantlings of small dimensions.