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Jamaica Could Resume Scrap Metal Trade

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - July 30, 2012

Above: Industry Minister Anthony Hylton (FP)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaica’s scrap metal trade could resume soon, nearly a year after it was banned in the country.

The Ministry of Industry is “committed” to reinstating the trade in the “shortest possible time,” according to Minister Anthony Hylton.

“We have taken every possible caution, dotted every ‘I’ and crossed every ‘T’, checked, cross-checked and re-checked, to ensure that we plug every loophole, create the barriers and impediments to unscrupulous individuals and companies, to get the industry up and running,” Hylton said.

The scrap metal trade was banned in Jamaica in the summer of 2011 by the then-Jamaica Labour Party government, citing widespread theft.

Hylton said that, in a bid to deter theft, there would be significant penalties.

“Any proof of theft of scrap metal that is exported by the company will result in stiff penalties and cancellation of the licence to export,” he said. “The penalty will be J$5 million and the company will have to post a bond of $5 million.”

Reopening the scrap metal trade would help employment, earn foreign exchange and clear derelict scrap from “valuable space,” he said.

It follows with earlier statements made by Hylton during Jamaica’s 2011 election campaign.

In an interview with Caribbean Journal in December, then-Opposition MP Hylton said he had disagreed with the ban.

“I believe that the scrap metal trade, properly regulated, is a source of living for a number of persons, and it is part of the international trade that is global,” he told CJ at the time. “The way to do it is to regulate it. I just do not believe that in a world of globalization, that we should ban things.”

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