The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has recently issued a circular temporarily prohibiting all concerned and registered facilities in Abu Dhabi from exporting iron scrap and waste paper and cardboard.
The decision is applicable for a period of four months starting May 15, 2020 which can be renewed, following the decree issued by the UAE's Ministry of Economy, MOE, No. 1/77 of 2020.
Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, under-secretary of ADDED, said that the decision seeks to help local production facilities maintain business continuity and also promotes domestic products by ensuring that local producers have access to raw material supplies locally for their manufacturing operations.
He noted that this is in line with ADDED's efforts to support local private companies manage the challenges posed by the restrictions dealing with the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Al Balooshi added that the department's decision is in line with the implementation of the MOE's decree to further diversify local sources of raw materials and production inputs for companies operating in the UAE and support the national economy. This move especially supports SMEs whose importing capabilities to secure raw materials abroad had been impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
Al Balooshi explained that the circular will help preserve iron, paper and cardboard resources which are essential supplies for many local manufacturing industries and will then help boost local products.
He further cited data by the Abu Dhabi Customs which revealed that the emirate has exported more than 6,163 tonnes of iron scrap in 2019, compared to 1,590 tonnes in 2018. Meanwhile, 29,530 tonnes of paper waste were exported last year, compared to 2,230 tonnes in 2018.
He stated that these figures showed there has been a huge jump in the volume of exports of iron and paper waste. Following such increase, the UAE Government has taken the steps to make best use of these waste to be recycled by national companies amidst the current circumstances brought about by the pandemic spread of Covid-19.
Al Balooshi raised the importance that all concerned facilities in Abu Dhabi must follow the new rule to avoid any violations that may lead to financial penalties or closure of facilities, in accordance with the articles of the Table of Economic Activities and Violations in Abu Dhabi.
He affirmed that Abu Dhabi supports the UAE Government's directives to implement all decisions that would help protect local industries and ensure all commodities and raw materials are available in the local market to increase the country's level of self-sufficiency for raw materials in the industrial sector, especially those that are highly imported from abroad.
ADDED's Undersecretary emphasised that scrap trade is considered a national wealth of all countries which aim to enhance their industries' resources such as iron, aluminium, copper, among others.
He concluded that exporting iron scraps is a challenge for the Abu Dhabi's industrial sector and for companies importing them from abroad due to their high cost, especially amid the current increased demand for these materials.
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