President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has issued Executive Order No. 50 placing a moratorium on the exportation of unprocessed natural rubber from Liberia until otherwise ordered.
According to an Executive Mansion release, Executive Order No. 50, signed by the Liberian leader on April 5, is intended to curb the decline in the Liberian rubber sector until policies and frameworks appropriate to the situation are instituted, and to ensure redevelopment, new development, increased production, increased job opportunities and increased revenue to Government. It supersedes Executive Order No. 16, which expired recently.
The Liberian rubber sector has been a part of Liberia’s economic heritage for over 80 years, providing a high source of annual revenue for the Government and providing more employment nationwide than any other single economic sector. However, the sector has been greatly affected by abuse, misuse, abandonment and theft. This includes illicit tapping and sale of rubber, which is having economic consequences on employment and Government revenue.
To tackle the situation in the rubber sector, the Government believes that appropriate institutional and regulatory frameworks needed to be established to sustain development of the sector and stimulate growth. It also believes that, in the national interest, urgent action was necessary to stem the current decline in the rubber sector and, as part of remedial measures, put a halt to the exportation of unprocessed natural rubber.
Already, on April 5, President Sirleaf issued Executive Order No. 49, exempting the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) from Customs Duties on Certain Products; and Executive Order No. 51 exempting Selected Entities from Customs Duties on Fuel.