JIS News

The Trade Board, during the 2009/10 financial year, facilitated the export of products valued at US$209.12 million under various trade agreements.
According to the report, which has been tabled in Parliament, exports to CARICOM grew by 73 per cent reflecting increased sales of cement to the region. There was a five per cent increase in applications for the importation of refined sugar, reflecting modest growth in the juice and other industries that utilise sugar as input, while applications for the importation of milk powder grew by 94 per cent, due to the development of new products, forward buying as a result of the high demand on the world market, and price instability.
Meanwhile, 25 scrap metal dealers/carriers renewed their registration during the period in keeping with the requirement for re-registration each year in order to continue operations.
In addition, the Board issued 1,534 shipment certificates valued at US$17,987,733, accounting for 74 per cent of the total number of export permits issued for the trade. In addition, the agency issued 2,059 export licences reflecting an increase of 13 per cent when compared with the previous period. The growth is attributed to increased exports of scrap metal and scrap jewellery and accounted for nearly three quarters of the total number of export licences supplied.
As it relates to internal operations, the agency, in keeping with the operational plan for review year 2009/2010, placed emphasis on the full computerisation of its operations, through upgrade of the Trade Board Information System (TBIS), development of in-house applications, and work toward establishing the Government of Jamaica Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).
There was continued upgrading of the TBIS in order to address discrepancies in the existing system and to add new features. Work on version two, a major system upgrade, has been delayed due to financial constraints, but submission of applications for import permits via TBIS remains at over 80 per cent with e-payment for applications averaging over 20 per cent.
An application for managing TBIS payments to the National Commercial Bank (NCB) was developed and rolled out. This application allows Trade Board accounts managers to track payment usage for licence applications and compare to NCB statements. The application eliminates the possibility of persons using single payment more than once.
A new web-based motor vehicle dealer certification application form was completed, facilitating the printing of dealer certificates and notifications to the dealers by e-mail when their certificates expire. The application is linked to the Trade Board website and allows the public to search for certified motor vehicle dealers based on location.
A new board of directors was put in place, which focused on accountability, transparency, organisation design and best practices, all with a view to achieving a more efficient and customer-focused institution that will be self-financing in the medium-term.
The Trade Board Limited, an agency under the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, is mandated to issue import and export licences for specific items that may impact negatively on the environmental, social and economic conditions of the country, in a manner consistent with international obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement for import licensing; and certificates of origin for Jamaican products exported under the various preferential trade agreements.
It also monitors imports and exports of specified commodities, as required by the Ministry, and informs the business community and prospective entrepreneurs of the facilities available under the various trade agreements.