Donated baseball equipment sits on wharf for months
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Thousands of US dollars worth of baseball equipment donated to the Institute of Sports (Insports) by a US-based firm, Major League Baseball International, has been sitting idle for months after bureaucratic red tape has left the equipment uncleared at customs.
Insports Director of Baseball Donovan Corcho told the Jamaica Observer that the donated equipment had been in the island since March.
Corcho said Insports would require a letter from the Ministry of Sports stating that it is an agency of the Ministry as well as a Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC) in order to have the equipment cleared.
“Our challenges are not external,” Corcho stated, explaining that in the past arrangements were made with the government customs broker to facilitate the clearance of baseball equipment for the Institute of Sports.
He added that under the original arrangement all charges go to the shipper. However, that deal would need to be accessed within 90 days or all charges would be applied.
The donation is an extension of the primary schools baseball league project in Jamaica. A pilot programme was launched earlier this year with 12 schools.
Corcho said the donation would help to extend that project: “It would widen the pools of school from 12 to 24 and also start to go out into rural schools with clinics with primary-school coaches.”
A baseball diamond, matching international standards, was built at the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport in Spanish Town earlier this year, which helped to encourage the donation of equipment.
“There is an international interest in baseball for Jamaica,” said Corcho.
Baseball is not a traditional Jamaican sport despite its popularity in neighbouring Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the United States of America.