JIS News

Following a week of operation in western Jamaica with its mobile service, the Companies Office of Jamaica (CoJ) is expressing some disappointment at the low response from Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s).
The CoJ mobile team was in the West from January 25 to January 29, making stops in Savana-La-Mar and Negril in Westmoreland, Lucea in Hanover, and Montego Bay in St. James. The visit was aimed at achieving higher compliance rate among businesses in terms of company registration and filing of annual returns, and assisting persons and charitable organisations to take up an amnesty offer, which is now in place until February 26th.
Compliance Supervisor with the CoJ and team coordinator for the mobile service, Mrs. Yolande Rowe-Fender, expressed her disappointment during an interview at the Jamaica Trade and Invest Office, on Market Street, in Montego Bay, on Friday January 29, where the mobile team was located for two days.
“The response has been good, but it could be better, especially for the charitable organisations for which we are having an amnesty. We realize that they have not really taken advantage of the amnesty, and this mobile was geared to facilitate persons in western Jamaica, especially the charitable organizations such as the churches, non-profit organizations and NGO’s, but those have not come in the majority,” she said.
Pointing out that previous visits to Montego Bay has elicited good response in terms of utilising the service of the CoJ, Mrs. Rowe-Fender says that this visit is doing as good as is expected, but could be much better from a regional perspective.
“We would have expected that all businesses that are not registered in the three parishes that we have visited, which is Westmoreland, Hanover and St. James, that businesses operating that are either not registered, or who are registered and their registration has expired, we would expect them to come in and take advantage of having us in the area,” she stated.
She said that businesses wishing to complete their filing of documentation inclusive of annual returns would now have to make at least one trip to Kingston. She also mentioned that companies and organisations failing to take up the amnesty offer will miss out on the drastically reduced fees.
Noting that the mobile team will be making visits to other parishes before the end of the amnesty period, Mrs. Rowe-Fender explained that the services being offered include; the facilitation of payments for new business registration, renewal of business registration, payment for changes and submission of documents being paid for, submission of all company documents inclusive of annual returns, appointment of directors and secretary, and registered office notices.
She cautioned businesses operating without being duly registered, or those operating without renewing their registration when necessary, that the COJ will be seeking to take strong action in due course. This she said could result in closure of their businesses, or imprisonment or fines imposed.