Scrap Metal Exports Suspended


Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, has signed a Ministerial Order prohibiting the export of scrap metal until further notice.
The Minister, in a statement to the House of Representatives yesterday (June 10), said that this action had become necessary as a result of “illegal activities that now pose a major threat to the economic development of the country and the disruption of essential services.”
He said that containers that had been sealed and entered for export, will be allowed to be exported after they have been thoroughly checked by Customs, and certified to be clear of any stolen metals.
“Shipments will not resume until all approved sites have been carefully checked and certified free of any stolen metals. Documentation, as prescribed in the (Scrap Metal) Regulations, will also be assessed in order to establish the legitimacy of ownership,” the Minister said.
He also informed that the Ministry will be amending the Regulations, to provide for stricter penalties to be applied in cases of breaches in addition to introducing new measures that will protect the industry against unscrupulous persons.
“We will also be establishing central sites for the packaging of containers where proper inspection can be guaranteed and where Customs Officers can feel safe to discharge their functions free from intimidation,” Mr. Samuda said.
He said the Ministry will act with “alacrity on these issues and I will keep members of the House informed on developments in the scrap metal sector.”
The Government, last year, introduced regulations for the sector, due to the alarming increase in the theft of metals, including those that support the country’s infrastructure.
According to figures provided by the Jamaica Exporters’ Association, scrap metal exports moved from US$13.3 million in 2005 to US$99.58 million in 2006, registering an increase of more than 600 per cent in one year.

JIS Social