JAMAICA: Brokers urge amendments to proposed Customs Act

Source: Jamaica Observer

Customs brokers and freight forwarders are appealing to be relieved of some of the liabilities imposed on them under the proposed new Customs Act, and to instead have those responsibilities focused on clients who fall in breach.

The brokers made their case last Thursday at a meeting of the joint select committee reviewing the Customs Act of 2019 that will replace the current 1941 law.

The Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of Jamaica is asking for the definition of importer and declarant  in the treatment of goods in specified circumstances  to be amended so that it excludes customs brokers, from liability under the provision.

The association urged that an amendment to the definition of declarant, importer or exporter to exclude customs brokers should also be considered in relation to the distribution of surplus on the sale of goods after all claims have been met.

President Clive Coke said the logistics professionals take “grave issue” with being made liable for payment of duties and taxes on behalf of importers and exporters, despite the fact that section 270 (10 and 11) of the Bill states that a customs broker is not responsible.

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