Jamaica Customs to implement tax stamp system for alcohol, cigarettes


Commissioner of Customs, Major (Ret’d) Richard Reese


KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday April 1, 2016 – The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) will be implementing a tax stamp system for the monitoring of alcohol and cigarettes.

The system, which will be introduced on a phased basis, allows for the authority to verify the authenticity of alcohol and cigarettes in trade and trace the products on the market.

Commissioner of Customs, Major (Ret’d) Richard Reese, made the disclosure following a meeting with Minister of National Security Robert Montague and State Minister, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr at the agency’s Newport East facilities in Kingston this week.

He explained that the electronically readable stamp will be placed on the products at the source.

Reese said that once the Contraband Enforcement Team or the police conduct inspections or surveillance and detect alcohol or cigarettes without the requisite stamp, “those goods will be confiscated… and they will be forfeited and the individuals will be charged.”

“So anything that we find in your market that doesn’t have the tax stamp is in fact contraband…some countries include pharmaceuticals, because we have quite a few products such as Viagra and Cialis that are counterfeit,” he pointed out.

Major Reese explained that the JCA and Tax Administration Jamaica have long had concerns regarding the level of control as it relates to alcohol and cigarettes.

“The Ministry of Finance also has a similar concern,” he said, adding that the initiative will protect revenue from excise and customs duties.

Major Reese said the implementation of the stamp tax regime will be announced shortly.

“We have been doing our due diligence and consultations with the trade and we have also had studies done,” he said.

Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)