Govt moves sandalwood oil exports to ‘restricted’ category
The Dollar Business Bureau
The Government has now restricted the export of sandalwood oil, a move which is aimed to discourage the illegal shipments of the product from the country.
“Export of sandalwood oil has been moved from 'Free' to 'Restricted' category',” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification (no.15/2015-2020) dated July 5, 2017.
Previously, there were no restrictions on the export of sandalwood oil.
India has been a dominant exporter of sandalwood oil for many years. But the sales of the oil plummeted due to smuggling and over exploitation of the wood in the past decade. The sandalwood plantations in India have been taken over by the government restricting the sale and exports of the sandalwood.
Trade of sandalwood illegally sourced from natural forests in the country has overtaken the official output, which was largely government-controlled until few years back. The supply of sandalwood from the country remains inconsistent and declined to just 250 tonnes a year in 2016 from around 4,000 tonnes a year in 1970s and over 1,300 tonnes in 2002, as per the government data.
Presently, there are around 6,000 acres of land under sandalwood cultivation in the country.
India exported sandalwood oil worth $0.37 million in the financial year 2016-17.