Importers urged to adhere to regulations
The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is urging importers to adhere to regulations governing the importation of commercial and non-commercial goods, in order to prevent being breached for contravention of the Customs Laws.
According to the CEO/ Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese, the JCA has had to deal with several cases in which persons and entities are found in breach of the Customs Act.
Some of the common breaches found include: Under-invoicing (Section 19); False Declaration (Section 209); Evading Customs Laws, for example Permit Breach (Section 210); Intellectual Property Rights Violations (Sections 40 & 44); and violations of the requirements of regulatory authorities, for which the JCA undertakes agency functions.
Reese said where a breach has been detected, the importer may elect for the commissioner to mitigate or he/she may choose to have the matter dealt with in the court.
Where the importer elects for the commissioner to mitigate, the following procedure is applicable: One, the importer may deposit with the commissioner an amount in respect of possible penalties, and may elect for mitigation. A letter from the importer outlining the circumstances in which the breach occurred, along with supporting documents, may accompany the request for mitigation. This administrative procedure facilitates the efficient resolution of the breach without resorting to lengthy proceedings in the courts.
Two, the applicable duties must be deposited if the importer wishes to clear his/her goods, pending the finalisation of the breach.
Or three, the importer may challenge the breach in the courts.
Reese said as it pertains to specific cases of breaches, the JCA cannot publicly discuss such matters prior to the breach being finalised.