PAPUA NEW GUINEA CROCODILE SKIN FEES INCREASED

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Sept. 2, 1999 – Post-Courier)---The Office of Environment and Conservation is finally implementing new license fees for crocodile skin products.

Director Wari Iamo said the fees had not been amended since 1986, and the increase approved by the NEC in 1995 would be a form of revenue collection.

The fee changes are: Crocodile trader’s license from K20 to K40; company buyer’s license K50 to K100 and crocodile exporter’s license K200 to K400.

(NOTE: K 2.9455 = US$ 1 on September 5, 1999)

The fees are being imposed on current and future license holders who wish to buy, dispose of or export crocodile skin products.

Mr. Iamo said the changes are a result of amendments to the Crocodile Trade (protection) Act regulations. This is the domestic legislation administered by his office to regulate the crocodile skin trade.

According to officers at the Wildlife Enforcement Branch, the crocodile industry is a sustainable business and efforts are made to stop crocodiles from being killed unnecessarily.

Most of the business is carried out in rural wetland areas such as in East Sepik, Gulf and Western provinces.

Mr. Iamo has warned license holders to comply with the new fees or face delays in the processing of applications.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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