Customs House Weekly Series #34
Jamaica Customs Continues to Protect the Nation’s Borders: Re-opens Jetty in Port Royal
The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is committed to protecting and securing the nation’s Ports of Entry, with the aim of keeping our people, society and economy safe from illegal imports and illegal trading activities.
Reconstruction of Jetty
In keeping with this mandate, the Agency officially re-opened its Jetty in Port Royal, Kingston, on August 30, 2017. The reconstruction of the Jetty by the JCA is of critical importance as it has expanded the capacity of the Agency to undertake its surveillance activities, as well as the rummaging of vessels, among other functions.
The opening of the Jetty has significantly enhanced the Agency’s operations at the Port Royal Sufferance Wharf, which has seen an increase in the amount of pleasure crafts which now dock at this Port. In June 2017, the Port saw the arrival of fifteen pleasure crafts, compared to five in June 2016.
Collaboration is Key
A key strategy in border protection is collaborating with our partners locally, regionally and internationally, in monitoring our coastline. Our partnerships have served to stem human trafficking, decrease the number of marine crimes, minimise the “Gun for Drugs Trade” as well as the “Food for Gun Trade” and reduce illegal imports. In July this year, the JCA and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) partnered in undertaking two Stakeholders’ Fora in the parishes of Clarendon and Manchester, where the entities will be establishing Marine Bases as part of efforts to stem illegal activities along these coastal areas.
Trade Mark Owners, Licensees Urged to Be Vigilant
In the meantime, as the Christmas season approaches, and with high volumes of goods expected to be imported, the JCA is imploring Trade Mark Owners and Licensees to be even more vigilant, as it pertains to the importation of counterfeit products. Rights Holders are encouraged to make a formal request to the Commissioner of Customs to undertake the seizure of these goods at the Ports of Entry, or on the local market.
Counterfeit goods are fake items, which an illegitimate trader seeks to pass off as genuine. They may include pharmaceutical products, backpacks, eyeglasses, lotions, handbags, perfumes, clothes, watches, footwear, cosmetics, electrical items, alcohol, and pirated DVDs/CDs, among others.
Negative Impact of Counterfeit Goods:
- Goods are manufactured in poor conditions.
- Ingredients used in these products are sub-standard.
- Legitimate manufacturers are forced to compete with illegal traders, who often sell their goods at reduced prices.
Counterfeit Trading does the following:
- Deceives consumers who believe they are buying authentic products.
- Robs legitimate manufacturers that invest in safety and quality manufacturing processes.
- Destroys brand-name and the reputation of legitimate manufacturers or suppliers.
- Deters investors especially those in the manufacturing space.
- Exposes consumers to serious health and safety risks, often associated with counterfeit products.