Dealers in the scrap industry attached to the Rwanda Scrap Association (RSA) have exported about 1,000 tonnes of ferrous substances over the last three months.
The association’s Executive Secretary, Francis Twahirwa said that this follows a green light from government were two metals (iron and steel) are exempted from the category barred from exportation in the 2009/10 budget.
“Steel and Iron are categorised in B of the proposal and not A, something that was confusing us earlier.
The budgetary proposal didn’t have details of which type of metals was banned. It was until the Ministry of Finance explained to us that we understood and resumed exporting,” he explained.
Rwanda’s budget read under the East African Community (EAC) calendar, announced a proposal stipulating a ban on the exportation of metallic scrap.
The Minister of Finance, James Musoni explained that this was aimed to halt wreckage and prevent uprooting of certain infrastructure like electrical cables across the region.
The ban that came into force on July 1st looked to be the end of business that generates about Rwf4 million per year for each on average of the associations’ 48 members.
RSA, formed in April, 2007 deals in ferrous and non-ferrous substances. Ferrous substances included iron, steel and the non-ferrous included Aluminium, Bronze and Cooper which was abandoned two years ago because the government forced them to do so.
The association exports the materials to neighbouring countries for the manufacturing of iron-bars, pips and iron-sheets. Twahirwa said that Uganda is their main market for iron and steel.
The ban was agreed and adopted by all EAC states as a measure to remedy any adverse effects of the establishment of the EAC common external tariff structure.
This raised tension amongst dealers across the region.
Dealers in Uganda and Kenya called on their respective governments to reconsider the decision.