The views below are not necessarily those of 18 Karat Reggae. We believe that only items that are not produced and cannot be produced in Jamaica, should be shipped to Jamaica. Jamaicans abroad should stop sending barrels to Jamaica.
By: Toraino Beckford
This article seeks to outline how a change in the policies at the Jamaica Customs Department can make Jamaicans have access to cheaper technology. In establishing Customs policies to benefit the people of Jamaica as opposed to business owners and politicians, a philosophy of trade must be outlined. This philosophy of trade must explain the relationship between imported/exported goods, their necessity to the people and the need to generate government revenue from such a trade transaction. This will all be explained within this article.
WHAT IS CUSTOMS?
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for controlling the flow of goods (import and export) and for collecting a tax called customs duties on the different types of goods being imported and exported.
WHY IS CUSTOMS?
Customs exist to regulate the flow of goods going in and out of a country as outlined above. Customs prevents banned or illegal goods from entering the country. More relevant to this article is Customs’ role of regulating the economy and protecting local industries. Meaning, Customs is supposed to tax goods being imported into Jamaica if that good is already being made in the country by a Jamaican manufacturer. This is to make the imported good equally or more expensive so that the locally made goods are not abandoned in favour of the cheaper foreign made goods.
HOW TO MAKE JAMAICANS RICHER
If the Jamaica Customs Department immediately stop charging custom duties (tax) on all forms of technology being imported in Jamaica, then not only will Jamaicans be richer but we will be able to move from a third world standard of living to a more advanced way of life. Just imagine if you could buy a phone, a tv, a refrigerator or even a car from overseas and is just required to pay for the price plus shipping and handling, no charge when you arrive at Customs. Imagine buying the latest gadgets off Amazon or e-Bay and not required to pay when you collect them at Customs. Just imagine how many smartphones, laptops, cars, TV’s, studio equipment, manufacturing equipment, car parts, generators, solar panels and 3D printers you can have if you could just buy them directly from their overseas source. Since Jamaica does not make phones, TV’s, cars or even solar panels, the Jamaica Customs Department should remove all custom duties on these kinds of goods with immediate effect. This will only benefit the people and will make Jamaica richer. The loss in government revenue would be worth it especially since progress would be more certain since it is technically out of direct government control.
This new Customs policy will likely be frowned upon by Digicel, Courts, Singer, all car marts, all appliance stores and everyone in Jamaica who leeches of the people by selling overpriced technology. Since this is arguably the greatest policy for the economic liberation of Jamaica, it should come as no surprise that many powerful people may be against it.
The IMF took away our capacity to protect our local food industries and called it “free trade” yet to this day they fail to pressure the government to apply that “free trade” approach to technological imports which is clearly the means by which to help our economy. By creating and strengthening local industries through technological abundance we would be in a better position to repay our IMF debt.
This is the change that Customs need to make to cultivate wealth in Jamaica so that in 5 year’s time we can have the corporate diversity, infrastructure and standard of living that places like the Bahamas now enjoys. All Jamaicans have a duty to promote and publicize this measure to rescue Jamaica from economic stagnation.