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Story Highlights

  • The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, July 7, approved legislation to permit conch exporters to pay the export levy for the 2015 season in installments.
  • The passage of the Conch (Export Levy) (Special Provisions) Act will allow exporters to complete payment within three months of the date of submission of the application for an export health certificate and export licence.
  • In piloting the Bill, Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, noted that exporters have made representation to the Ministry indicating that they are facing significant financial challenges.

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, July 7, approved legislation to permit conch exporters to pay the export levy for the 2015 season in installments.

The passage of the Conch (Export Levy) (Special Provisions) Act will allow exporters to complete payment within three months of the date of submission of the application for an export health certificate and export licence.

In piloting the Bill, Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, noted that exporters have made representation to the Ministry indicating that they are facing significant financial challenges.

This is due to increased production and investments costs in maintaining their European Union (EU) accreditation.

“This has resulted in a struggle for the exporters in growing market share in the extremely competitive global conch market. Exporters have expressed a continued willingness to pay, but they seek delay of payment in relation to the 2015 conch season,” Mr. Kellier said.

Exporters will be required to make all outstanding payments within the three-month period.

The Conch (Export Levy) Act imposes a duty on the export of conch to facilitate the sustainable management and development of the fisheries sector.

It is used, in part, to offset the cost of implementing programmes for monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement in relation to Jamaica’s limited conch resources.

In June, Parliament approved the imposition of a US$0.75 levy on each pound of conch exported during the 2015 season.

The law requires that for each conch season, the rate prescribed by the Minister must be approved by Parliament.