Health and Food Safety One Stop Shop
In light of increasingly competitive international trade environments and WTO policy agreements, the state has to place emphasis on ensuring that local trade operations meet international standards. Given that reality, the Government of Jamaica has embarked on this project to meet and keep pace with these standards. The establishment of the Food Safety Unit “One Stop shop” also forms part of the thrust to encourage 'joined up government' by establishing collaborations among government bodies for improved service delivery and optimum use of available resources.
The Agricultural Support Services Project (ASSP) in the Ministry of Agriculture (MOH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC) along with their various regulatory agencies, Cabinet Office, the Port Authority of Jamaica and the Jamaica Customs Department has introduced an Import and Export One Stop Shop to streamline inspection and document processing at the Ports for faster, processing and greater efficiency.
Why establish the One Stop Shop?
Before implementation of the Unit, importers had to undergo lengthy inspection processes and paper processing for goods to be cleared. In some instances, inspection officers were not readily available to make the necessary checks and therefore vessels were sometimes docked for long periods. Processes for inspection and granting of permits were carried out by a number of government agencies each governed by their own legislation. When goods arrive at the ports, a number of checks for quality and safety are carried out to ensure that goods are fit for allowance into the country. Agencies such as the Bureau of Standards, Public Health, Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation, Pesticide Division Control Authority and Veterinary Services have to make systematic checks to guarantee product wholesomeness.
The National Agricultural, Health and Food Safety ONE STOP SHOP is designed to make processing of goods and documents an easy One Stop procedure.
Following full implementation of the operation, clients will have containers inspected and documents processed in one venue without having to visit multiple agencies to get full clearance. Containers will be 'stripped' much faster, facilitating increased productivity.
What are the objectives of the one stop shop?
- To serve as a central location to coordinate all inspection processes
- To improve service delivery to importers
- To achieve quicker processing time by making agency representatives more available
- To standardize inspection procedures to better ensure product wholesomeness
- To reduce duplication of inspection functions to ensure all requirements standards of the international standards organization are met.
Where will the one stop shop be located?
The Facility will be located on the APM Terminals Limited,
Port Bustamante, P.O. Box 1122 GPO Kingston,
How does the new procedure work?
All six regulatory agencies with responsibility for approvals of permits and inspection of produce on the wharves will be housed in one location. An information desk will be installed to undertake the collation of applications and collection of all fees. Goods will therefore be checked and cleared by all the relevant agencies in one physical location while your documents are being processed.