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  • To ramp up its monitoring efforts, the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) will be launching a self-reporting form for operators within the special economic zones (SEZs) by April 2020.
  • “We want compliance, but, particularly, we want self-compliance, so we will be launching a standardised electronic self-reporting tool. We have been sending out a series of advisory notes from last year to our clients. We would like to have a soft launch in April for the enlisted special economic zone (SEZ) occupants,” Senior Director, Regulations, Policy, Enforcement and Monitoring, JSEZA, Ainsley Brown, said.
  • Mr. Brown was speaking at the recently held JSEZA sensitisation session for SEZ developers and operators, at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston.

To ramp up its monitoring efforts, the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) will be launching a self-reporting form for operators within the special economic zones (SEZs) by April 2020.

“We want compliance, but, particularly, we want self-compliance, so we will be launching a standardised electronic self-reporting tool. We have been sending out a series of advisory notes from last year to our clients. We would like to have a soft launch in April for the enlisted special economic zone (SEZ) occupants,” Senior Director, Regulations, Policy, Enforcement and Monitoring, JSEZA, Ainsley Brown, said.

Mr. Brown was speaking at the recently held JSEZA sensitisation session for SEZ developers and operators, at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston.

“Our objective is compliance not penalisation. If we have to penalise, then it’s too late. We want to hold our SEZ occupants accountable and we want them to hold themselves accountable,” Mr. Brown said.

He noted that another measure JSEZA will enforce as part of its efforts to increase monitoring is site inspections.

“From time to time, SEZ operators can expect officers from our compliance unit or other units that will inspect their site. We are also working through our regulatory partners like the Jamaica Customs Agency, Tax Administration Jamaica and the Fire Brigade to do verification of certain licences and permits,” Mr. Brown said.

“SEZ occupants have an obligation to grant JSEZA access to their books and property to facilitate audits, as this is a part of how we ensure accountability and transparency within the SEZ regime,” he added.

Mr. Brown reminded SEZ occupants that they have an obligation to file their annual returns with the Companies Office of Jamaica.

“If the Companies Office takes action and strikes you off the list of registered companies because you have failed to provide your annual returns for a number of years, then, automatically, you are no longer allowed to operate within the SEZ by law,” he explained.

“The philosophy we have in terms of designing the framework for monitoring and enforcement is ‘anticipation, prevention, mitigation then corrective measure and enforcement’. We don’t strive to get to the final stage of enforcement, because it’s not about the ‘big stick’, it’s about spotting the problems and correcting them before they happen,” Mr. Brown argued.

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