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Personal jet ski importation banned

Published:Tuesday | February 18, 2014 | 5:25 PM

Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer



WESTERN BUREAU:

Effective immediately, there is to be a ban on the importation of all personal watercraft, such as jet skis, until October 15, 2014 and the temporary suspension of operations across the island.




In addition, the fine for breaches of the Tourist Board Act (1955) has been increase from $20,000 to half of a million dollars by Cabinet.



The announcement was made in Parliament earlier today by Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr Wykeham McNeill.



According to Minister McNeill, Cabinet has also approved the lifting of the moratorium on licensing new commercial operators in order to allow for the regularisation of the commercial operations.



He said the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) will take steps to register all PWCs in the island.



Upon registration, PWC operators will be issued with registration certificates and decals, (Decals, provided in two colour codes, are expected to be available within a week).



The decision comes in the wake of a series of accidents, across the island, particularly, by Jetski operators.



The latest incident occurred in Negril a few weeks ago when an American tourist was struck in the head by an unlicensed operator who fled the scene.



"The impact of these incidents has been far-reaching and has triggered negative public commentary both locally and internationally, particularly from Jamaica’s largest source market in the United States of America (USA)," stated McNeill.



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