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Waive import duty on pandemic items – MoBay Chamber

Published:Friday | March 13, 2020 | 12:08 AM

The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry is calling on the Government to immediately waive all import duties on anti-coronavirus-related products as part of the overall drive to minimise the impact of the disease in Jamaica.

In a press statement yesterday, the chamber said that the public should have easy access to products that can fight the pandemic.

“Sacrifices have to be made all around and shared by everybody. We are now clearly in uncharted territory, where nobody can say for sure how long of a haul this will be,” said Chamber President Janet Silvera. “With this kind of uncertainty and a population at risk, we are of the view that it would only be fitting for the Government to make it easier for anti-Covid-19 products, including equipment, to get into Jamaica so as to mitigate against potential shortages.”

Silvera is also calling on the Government to protect the public from profit seekers.

“We have to be wary of the unfortunate practice of price-gouging,” said Silvera. “The chamber will even go as far as saying that business licences should be taken away from offenders.

“If persons are so cruel and brazen enough where they set about increasing the prices of goods, services, or commodities to a level much higher than is considered reasonable or fair … . That is being exploitative,” said Silvera.