JIS News

Government has introduced an interim duty regime for the importation of a limited range of food items including chicken leg quarters, wings, legs and thighs and tomatoes, cabbage and lettuce.
Making the announcement at yesterday’s (Sept. 28) sitting of the House of Representatives at Gordon House, Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell explained that the move was designed to ensure food security in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan and give the agriculture sector time to recover.
Under this regime, stamp duty will be suspended and the customs duty will be reduce to 40 per cent until November 30. Presently, the compounded duty ranged between 86 to 260 per cent. The list of items and the duty rate structure will be reviewed at that time.
“The government will be monitoring the situation during this period to ensure that this temporary measure does not have a negative impact on the recovery of local agriculture,” Mr. Paulwell stated. He further issued a warning, that price collusion or gouging would not be tolerated, as this would rob the consumer of the benefit of the initiative. Recommended prices will be published to enable consumers to monitor the situation and make informed decisions.
Further, he said, the Jamaica Agricultural Society had committed to collaborating with its members to identify products that they could import. “We believe that these actions will enhance our food security and price stability, while at the same time give the local productive sector the time to recover from Hurricane Ivan,” the Minister said.
“We are confident that with the cooperation of our importers, distributors, retailers, farmers and consumers, Jamaica will overcome the challenges and quickly return to full production in all sectors,” he added.

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