Saturday 18 November, 2017

TTMA to Gov't: Implement scanners now

The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) is calling for the cargo scanners to be implemented amid concerns over delays for cargo inspection. 

The Association said in a statement issued Thursday that it is concerned about the decision taken on July 3, 2017, by a Joint Select Committee to inspect 20 percent of units on the port and the impact this would have on the facilitation of trade for manufacturers.

The Association says Government must intensify efforts to implement cargo scanners in order to maintain efficiency at the ports. 

"While the TTMA commends the Government of Trinidad and Tobago on its commitment to national security, the negative impact on the ease of doing business cannot be denied."

"The delays caused by the increase in the percentage units assigned for inspection, coupled with the fact that the container scanners which had been purchased since 2014 are yet to be given approval for utilization by Customs and Excise, have made it increasingly difficult for manufacturers to meet optimum levels of exports and imports for their operations."

"In this regard, the TTMA recommends that the government intensifies its effort to have the long-anticipated container scanners operational as a matter of urgency in order to allow for the process of container inspection to become as efficient as possible."

"Additionally, the TTMA recommends that a risk assessment, as determined by statistical review of manufacturers’ cargo over a period of time, be conducted to ensure that bonafide manufacturers and suppliers do not have their containers unnecessarily assigned to the Container Examination Station."

The TTMA, as the representative body for the manufacturing sector, said it remains ready and willing to act as a consultative body to government on this issue should the need arise.

Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon told media last month that the scanners would be implemented by December 2017. 

The JSC also refuted claims by the Public Services Association (PSA) regarding a risk of radiation from the scanners, saying that a radiation expert and nuclear physicist both indicated that the scanners are safe for use.