JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) will be implementing a tax stamp system for the monitoring of alcohol and cigarettes.
  • Major Reese explained that the JCA and Tax Administration Jamaica have long had concerns regarding the level of control as it relates to alcohol and cigarettes.
  • During the meeting at the JCA, Minister Montague and State Minister Charles Jr. were informed about the programmes and initiatives being undertaken by the agency.

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) will be implementing a tax stamp system for the monitoring of alcohol and cigarettes.

The system, which will be introduced on a phased basis, allows for the authority to verify the authenticity of alcohol and cigarettes in trade and trace the products on the market.

Commissioner of Customs, Major (Ret’d) Richard Reese, made the disclosure during an interview with JIS News following a meeting with Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague and State Minister, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. at the agency’s Newport East facilities in Kingston on Wednesday (March 30).

He explained that the electronically readable stamp will be placed on the products at the source.

He told JIS News that once the Contraband Enforcement Team or the police conduct inspections or surveillance and detect alcohol or cigarettes without the requisite stamp, “those goods will be confiscated… and they will be forfeited and the individuals will be charged.”

“So anything that we find in your market that doesn’t have the tax stamp is in fact contraband…some countries include pharmaceuticals, because we have quite a few products such as Viagra and Cialis that are counterfeit,” he pointed out.

Major Reese explained that the JCA and Tax Administration Jamaica have long had concerns regarding the level of control as it relates to alcohol and cigarettes.

The Ministry of Finance (and Public Service) also has a similar concern,” he said, adding that the initiative will protect revenue in terms of excise and customs duties.

Major Reese said the implementation of that stamp tax regime will be announced shortly. “We have been doing our due diligence and consultations with the trade and we have also had studies done,” he informed.

During the meeting at the JCA, Minister Montague and State Minister Charles Jr. were informed about the programmes and initiatives being undertaken by the agency.