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Opposition concerned about planned changes to import free zones

Published:Thursday | June 9, 2016 | 9:33 AM

Opposition spokesman on industry and commerce, Anthony Hylton, says he’s concerned about the direction being taken by the government in relation to the importation of motor vehicles into Jamaica’s free zones.

On Tuesday, the industry and commerce minister, Karl Samuda, said he was moving to end the practice as some importers are using the free zones to avoid paying the required duties on vehicles imported to be sold locally.

He said this is not what the free zones were designed for and the practice is giving some car dealers an unfair advantage while cheating the government.

However, Hylton also says he believes the actions being taken by Samuda run counter to advice given by the Attorney General’s Chambers.

He is demanding that no change be made to the existing policy until Samuda releases the legal opinion of the attorney general.


Hylton says Samuda’s reasoning in support of his decision is fatally flawed and spurious at best.

He says the decision by the government will have far reaching implications for current investors in the existing Free Zones and prospective investors in the pending Special Economic Zones.


Opposition spokesman on industry, investment and commerce, Anthony Hylton

Hylton was making his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, yesterday.