JIS News

Come July 1, local and international importers and exporters will be able to conduct hassle free business when a ‘one stop shop’ is opened at the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT). This unit will facilitate the efficient processing and inspection of agricultural produce.The agencies that will work from this ‘one stop shop’ include the Public Health Department; Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division; Pesticides Control Authority; Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, and the Bureau of Standards.
Speaking at the ‘one stop shop’ stakeholders workshop on June 4 in Kingston, Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Don McGlashan pointed out that the facility would be geared at simplifying the clearing of goods by “avoiding lengthy inspections and the cumbersome processing of paper previously associated with the activity.”
He said the facility, which would be located at Berth 11, New Port West, would also address the overlaps in the import-export functions of the three ministries and was in keeping with the Government’s thrust to encourage and establish collaboration among government entities as a means of improving service.
Additionally, the facility is expected to co-ordinate all inspection processes, improve service delivery to importers, and standardize inspection procedures to ensure product quality, as well as ensure that importers and exporters adhere to both local and international guidelines.
Meanwhile, Chief Plant Quarantine Officer, Shelia Harvey indicated that having all agencies responsible for issuing permits and inspection of produce housed in one location would be beneficial to merchants. “Documents will be processed and goods will be inspected and cleared by the relevant agency in one location,” she reiterated, adding that an internet-based system would also be utilized to facilitate online transactions, such as application and e-payment.
To assist in the speedy processing of goods, Mrs. Harvey encouraged all importers to source produce from certified manufacturers and ensure that all required permits, phytosanitary and health certificates as well as other supporting documents necessary for the clearance of goods, are available.The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, through its Agricultural Support Services Project (ASSP), has allocated some $6.5 million to the project.

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