JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Senate, on July 24, approved a Bill seeking to allow conch exporters to pay the export levy for the 2015 season in instalments.
  • Through the passage of the Conch (Export Levy) (Special Provisions) Act, exporters will be allowed to complete payment within three months of the date of submission of the application for an export health certificate and export licence for each consignment of conch.
  • Piloting the Bill, Minister of Justice, Senator, the Hon. Mark Golding, said it will further facilitate the country’s exporters, who are “doing a valiant job” in the globally competitive conch industry.

The Senate, on July 24, approved a Bill seeking to allow conch exporters to pay the export levy for the 2015 season in instalments.

Through the passage of the Conch (Export Levy) (Special Provisions) Act, exporters will be allowed to complete payment within three months of the date of submission of the application for an export health certificate and export licence for each consignment of conch.

Piloting the Bill, Minister of Justice, Senator, the Hon. Mark Golding, said it will further facilitate the country’s exporters, who are “doing a valiant job” in the globally competitive conch industry.

He said the Government will continue to support the sector, noting that in the year 2009, a levy was implemented to ensure that the exporters are able to make payments that coincide more closely with the cash inflows from the export of the conch.

In his remarks, Senator Norman Grant said it will provide the exporters with some relief regarding the payment of the levy.

He informed that the island’s fishing sector at the end of 2012 was valued at approximately US$9.2 million, in terms of export earnings, with conch export at the end of  2014  worth US$6 million, which represents 75 per cent of the export earnings within the fisheries industry.

Supporting the Bill, Opposition Senator, Robert Montague, suggested more funds should be invested in the fisheries sector.

“I am also (recommending)  that some of the proceeds from the conch levy be placed in a revolving loan fund, so that the fishermen can access those funds to retool and improve their lives, that of their families and the fishing communities,” he said.

The Conch (Export Levy) Act imposes a duty on the export of conch to facilitate the sustainable management and development of the fisheries sector.

It is used, in part, to offset the cost of implementing programmes for monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement in relation to Jamaica’s limited conch resources.

In June, Parliament approved the imposition of a US$0.75 levy on each pound of conch exported during the 2015 season.

The law requires that for each conch season, the rate prescribed by the Minister must be approved by Parliament.