New con­ces­sions ap­proved for conch ex­porters

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS -

CONCH EX­PORTERS have now been granted per­mis­sion to pay the levy on conch ex­ports in in­stal­ments.

The con­ces­sion comes amid com­plaints from ex­porters that the levy im­posed ad­di­tional fi­nan­cial bur­den on them, in terms of their cost of do­ing busi­ness and main­tain­ing their Euro­pean Union ac­cred­i­ta­tion, ac­cord­ing to Min­is­ter of In­dus­try, Com­merce, Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries Karl Sa­muda.

“This has re­sulted in a strug­gle for the ex­porters in grow­ing mar­ket share in the ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive Euro­pean Union conch mar­ket. The ex­porters have ex­pressed a con­tin­ued will­ing­ness to pay the req­ui­site levies, but they seek de­fer­ment of the pay­ment in re­la­tion to the ex­pi­ra­tion of the conch har­vest­ing for the 2016 conch sea­son, which is not per­mis­si­ble un­der the Act,” he said.

But with the pas­sage of the Conch (Ex­port Levy) (Spe­cial Pro­vi­sions) Act, ex­porters will now be al­lowed to pay the levy within three months of the date of sub­mis­sion of the ap­pli­ca­tion for an ex­port health cer­tifi­cate and ex­port li­cence for each con­sign­ment of conch.

The levy, which was first in­tro­duced in 2009, has been re­duced from US$0.75 to US$0.50 per pound of conch.

Op­po­si­tion Spokesper­son on Agri­cul­ture Der­rick Kel­lier said the fish­eries sec­tor is cru­cial to Ja­maica’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, but he also raised con­cerns about poach­ers in Ja­maica’s wa­ters.

In re­sponse, Sa­muda said the min­istry, along with the Ja­maica De­fence Force, is in­tro­duc­ing drones to po­lice the wa­ters.

“In ad­di­tion to that, what we will be seek­ing to do for the next sea­son is to open the sea­son early so that ap­pli­ca­tions can be in, and the boats can go to sea im­me­di­ately,” he said.

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

The levy is used, in part, to off­set the cost of im­ple­ment­ing pro­grammes for mon­i­tor­ing, con­trol, sur­veil­lance and en­force­ment to safe­guard Ja­maica’s lim­ited conch re­sources. This March 25, 2014 file photo shows a stock­pile of conch shells by the seashore in Savanna-la-Mar, West­more­land.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.