Kingston Wharves Free Zone committed no breach
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) wishes to explain the process involved in the treatment of cargo in the context of international free zones and logistics hubs.
There have been widespread assertions that commercial arrangements in the KWL Free Zone have enabled or facilitated breaches to local customs law and, further, have given
one party an unfair advantage over other players in the local motor vehicle retail industry.
KWL wishes to indicate that the company has committed no breach of law or policy in entering into these arrangements, and neither has any unfair or other competitive advantage or benefit been derived by any of the company’s customers from motor vehicles being stored on behalf of any dealer of motor vehicles in the Kingston Wharves Free Zone.
To be clear, the services offered by KWL are offered without exclusivity and are available to any other dealer who wishes to engage with us.
Free zones are considered by law to be outside of local customs territory and allow for the holding, modifying and re-export of cargo without the imposition of the usual duties where goods are being moved from the free zone to other territories outside of Jamaica.
Where cargo leaves the free zone and enters the domestic market, these goods are subject to the necessary duties and can only be released locally with the satisfaction of the requirements of the relevant authority, the Jamaica Customs Agency, which shares
dual control of the KWL Free Zone.
Free zones are expected to evolve into special economic zones pursuant to legislation that is currently in the process of being promulgated, and such evolution is considered essential to catapult the country into a hub for logistics and international trade.
This is the beginning of the game change to value-added logistics, and while we wait for our legislative framework to align with international best practice, we must be careful to not stifle or repel burgeoning investments which we are now more than able to facilitate.
CEO, Kingston Wharves Limited