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Customs crack down on $1b sugar-sale scheme

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 12:57 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) says it has uncovered a major scheme by several importers of granulated sugar as raw material in manufacturing, who resell the product resulting in significant loss of revenue to government.

Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese told OBSERVER ONLINE Wednesday that manufacturers are allowed duty free importation on the commodity which is supposed to be used only in their operations and not for resale.

However, according to Reese some manufacturers have been selling sugar to retailers and invoicing the sale as products such as syrup, bag juice or any other item produced by their organisation.

“We have recovered about 150 bags which we estimate would equal a loss of $1 million, but based on data analysis, import analysis and trade analysis, it could actually be in excess of $1 billion in a 12-month period,” Reese told OBSERVER ONLINE.

“It has been an ongoing issue in the past but we have employed new enforcement measures and we will also be monitoring the trade and the manufacturers,” he said.

Keleshia Powell

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