THE government says the ban on the trade of non-ferrous metals has successfully reduced the theft of scrap metal.
The ban was introduced early last month in order to curb the illegal scrap metal trade in the country and coincided with the formation of the compliance and enforcement working group to monitor it.
Industry and Trade permanent secretary Shaheen Ali said feedback from the working group indicated the ban was paying dividends.
"Following the inaugural compliance and enforcement working group meeting held on November 14, an inspection team comprising officers from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Fiji Police Force and Republic of Fiji Military Forces with the assistance from FRCA (Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority) officials was formed to undertake intensive monitoring of the scrap metal trade," Mr Ali said.
He said the group's inspection processes included surveillance of scrap metal dealers' yards, inspection of containers packed for export, identification of metals, checking of dealers' records and processes in place for purchase of scrap metal.
"The stringent inspection, monitoring and the ban in trade of non-ferrous metal has been successful in reducing the incidences of theft of public infrastructure metal and increased compliance with the Scrap Metal Trade Decree," Mr Ali said.
"The intensive monitoring of scrap metal trade has ensured that no trade in non-ferrous scrap metal takes place. So far, no report has been received on trade of non-ferrous scrap metal," he said.