- The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) acknowledges the information presented by Carreras Ltd. at its recent press event.
- The Christmas period sees increased volumes of cargo at all ports as well as passengers, which translate to the increased opportunity for smuggling.
The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) acknowledges the information presented by Carreras Ltd. at its recent press event.
Several issues must be taken into consideration when assessing the current impact the illicit trade is having on revenue:
1) The advent of several additional players in the tobacco market (two local manufacturers and new importers) and the impact this is having on Carreras’ market share and its bottom line.
2) The figures being quoted emanates from historical data, to include figures from the time of the introduction of the tobacco regulations, when there was an appreciable drop in revenue due to the uncertainty associated with the introduction of the new regulations.
3) As can be appreciated, commodities which attract high levels of tax will be increasingly attractive to smugglers.
4) The matter of the uncontrolled ports of entry is also to be considered. The fact is that there is a very active illegal maritime trade route from Haiti and South American countries which is being used to smuggle various forms of contraband, to include tobacco products. The resources do not exist to effectively monitor these areas which run from Portland to Westmoreland.
5) Increased production of local tobacco and its use as a substitute for finished cigarettes in the form of GRABBER must also be factored. It has been estimated that currently local tobacco production accounts for at least 100 million sticks of cigarettes.