Waive customs fees for stranded returning residents, says LaTouche

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Waive customs fees for stranded returning residents, says LaTouche

Thursday, March 26, 2020

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MANCHESTER, Jamaica — President of the Jamaica Association for the Resettlement of Returning Residents, Percival LaTouche, is lobbying for the Government to waive customs fees for returning residents who are now stranded overseas due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Jamaican Government has closed the country's international airports to incoming flights, as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Jamaicans who have made plans to return home and their items were sent here, but because of the [COVID] they have to stay overseas until things clear up, and when that will be is only God he knows,” LaTouche told the OBSERVER ONLINE in a telephone interview.

“They [returnees] should be free from any charges…. They have already been blocked from coming here now — usually at this time of the year we would have about 300 returning residents coming out to Jamaica this time of the year. Their items are on the wharf, quite a few of them [returnees] between Canada, America and the United Kingdom. Their household belongings are on the wharf. I am hoping that the Minister of Finance and the customs agency will give them time to ensure that they are not charged.”

“All of their [returnees] items were sent home from before this [COVID crisis] and now nobody can come home. I hope the Ministry of Finance will grant a waiver,” he said.
Kasey Williams

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