Senate Approves Amendments to Processed Food Act and Regulations

Kingston, Jamaica (McKoy’s News) – Senate Approves Amendments to Processed Food Act and Regulations: The Senate, on Friday (October 20), approved amendments to the Processed Food Act and Processed Food (General) Regulations, 1959, during its sitting at Gordon House.

The amendments aim to remove export certificate requirement of entities to facilitate implementation of the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), a web-based system platform designed to transform the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) into a paperless operation through the use of electronic documents.

Acting Leader of Government Business and State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., who piloted the Bill said the move is in keeping with the Government’s policy to enhance efficiency in trade and commerce.

He said removal of the export certificate stipulation will shorten the procedure for processed food exportation.

Senator Charles said this represents a positive step towards engendering a more trade-facilitatory regime and bringing Jamaica further in line with international best practices which recommend a risk-based approach to production.

“The Jamaica Customs Agency has taken specific measures to ensure that the end users are equipped with the capacity to use this (ASYCUDA) system. The Jamaica Customs Agency also states that the ASYCUDA World has resulted in a greater positive outlook for trading across borders,” he informed.

Senator Charles emphasized that the paperless approach is “necessary for us in Jamaica to maximise efficiency…(as) it promotes greater insights and improvements in our country’s trade and economy.”

He further said that the JCA has indicated it could not incorporate the export certificate component of the Processed Food Act into the ASYCUDA system and has, along with the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, recommended its removal.

The ASYCUDA, which was implemented in Jamaica in 2016, is being used in 90 other countries, of which 72 utilize the version that has been rolled out locally.

Government Senator, Don Wehby, said the amendments fit squarely into the new National Export Strategy.

The strategy reinforces the priority being given to exports in respect of the Government’s economic growth targets, and further defines a goal of achieving US$2.5 billion in earnings by 2020.

Senator Wehby said the Government’s strategic goals for export include: increasing export-led investment; expanding export reach globally; and advocating for reductions in barriers to trade.

“The removal of barriers to trade, which include the changes that are being discussed here today, is essential to successfully achieving our strategic goals for export,” he added.

Senator Wehby emphasised that ASYCUDA is a game changing technology tool that is pivotal in facilitating trade.

“We need to continue this focus on bringing processes and systems in line with new technologies. We must also be constantly looking at new world technologies and how we can improve the ASYCUDA on an ongoing basis,” he said.

Opposition Senator, Sophia Fraser Binns, who supported the Bill, noted that Jamaica remains a “paper-based society” and argued that the multiplicity of documents required for imports and exports “are actually hindrances to commercials undertakings.”

“As we move forward, in making us more competitive (globally) and making it easier to do business, these are some of the things that we have to look at (addressing),” she said.

Contributed by Dr. Colin O Jarrett

Please send us your Feedback, News Item, Photos and/or Videos to our WhatsApp Number 1-876-353-1389 or Email [email protected]

Recently Published


Barber Commits Suicide in Portmore

Jamaica News, St Catherine: 25-year-old Javaughn Davis a Barber of Monza in Greater Portmore, St Catherine, is suspected to have taken his own life at his home on Saturday, February 16. Reports by the Portmore Police are that about 10:00 a.m., a relative of the deceased went to the house and discovered Davis’ body hanging […]

Police in Accident

Elderly Man Perish in Hanover Road Accident

Jamaica News, Hanover: Traffic officers attached to the Lucea Police Department, in the parish of Hanover, are now carrying out an investigation into an accident which claimed the life of an elderly man in the parish on Saturday night, February 16. The deceased has been identified as 79-year-old Amos Bissett, of Industrial Cove in Lucea, […]

Timothy Harper Murdered

American Technology Consultant Murdered in Westmoreland

Jamaica Crime News, Westmoreland: Investigators from the Savanna-la-mar Police Department in the parish of Westmoreland, say they are now carrying out a search for the person (or persons) behind the shooting death of an American national in Sheffield district on Saturday night, February 16, The deceased has been identified 43-year-old Timothy Harper, an Information Technology […]


Chef Murdered in St James

Jamaica Crime News, St James: Detectives attached to the Freeport Police Station say they have now commenced a full investigation to uncover the motives surrounding the shooting death of a man, who was killed by gunmen in Montpelier, St. James on Saturday night, February 16. The deceased has been identified as 43-year-old Elijah Anderson, a […]

Men Held is Said to be Terrorizing Chinese Business Operators

St James Parents Arrested in St Ann, Following Death of Child

Jamaica Crime News, St James: A common-law couple who resides at Bogue Village in Montego Bay, St James were arrested by the St. Ann police on Saturday afternoon, following an incident where their 3-year-old daughter died at the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital, from what appeared to be physical bruises inflicted to her body. The police […]

Mikeisha Gayle Missing

Mikeisha Gayle Missing

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) said 21-year-old Mikeisha Gayle, otherwise called ‘Nickie’, from 7th Street in Kingston 18 has been missing since Friday, February 16. She is of dark complexion, medium build, and is about 165 centimeters (5 feet 5 inches) tall. The JCF said: “Reports from the Hunts Bay Police are that Gayle was […]