The Dominica Coconut Products Successors Ltd. Has taken a matter to CARICOM, arguing that Jamaican manufacturers are cheating the required process by skipping the soap-making process, and purchasing near ready-made soap from Indonesia, a country that is outside the Caribbean region.
It is alleged that Jamaican manufacturers have been purchasing soap chips from Indonesia, yet are selling their finished soap products under duty-free CARICOM provisions.
CARICOM duty-free provisions for regional soap manufacturers requires manufacturers to go through the entire soap-making process to qualify for exemption from duties.
In the latest on the DCPS case against Jamaican manufacturers, CARICOM’s Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) has determined that soap manufacturers in Jamaica are not eligible to receive certificates of origin for their soap exports.
Director at the Dominica Coconut Products Successors Ltd, Yvor Nassief is calling for a level playing field for all manufactures.
“They (Jamaican soap manufactures) are skipping the manufacturing process claiming that they are manufacturing, and on the strength of that not paying duties and getting duty free access into the rest of CARICOM.” He added, “Right now we are at the COTED stage.” Noting that the situation has not been ratified. Nassief Stated that with this course of action it means that the Jamaican soap manufactures are cheating the system.
“If we are not successful it means anybody can do anything and the common market falls apart. So the example I like to give it’s like someone is importing chocolate chips and they melt that and extruded it into bars and say they are making chocolate, they are not, they are cheating the system.”