In T&T: Backlog at POS Port

22 November 2011


No curfew, but there are still hindrances to Christmas sales. “Increased cost to manufacturers and businesses would have a ripple effect on the consumer”

A backlog at the Port of Port of Spain is frustrating businessmen attempting to clear goods as the busy Christmas season approaches.

In a statement yesterday, the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) said inefficiency at the port over the last couple of weeks is presenting an additional hindrance to trade.

It is calling on the relevant authorities, including the Port Authority and the Customs and Excise Division, to resolve these issues as a “matter of urgency”.

“The TTMA has received several complaints from its membership relating to delays at Customs cashiers, the storing of goods, and the berthing of vessels, despite earlier assurances that proper steps were in place to mitigate the expected boost in activity during the Christmas season,” the manufacturers said.

The association said a new system implemented without adequate resources, in conjunction with Christmas, “has caused great trepidation and frustration to the entire business community, which needs to recover significant losses incurred over the last few months in this relatively short period”.

It warned that, if the situation is not resolved soon, the increased cost to manufacturers and businesses would have a ripple effect on the consumer.

Chairman of the Port Authority Joseph Toney said in a telephone interview yesterday that there was a backlog, but since he assumed office last month he has been trying to get Customs and Excise and the port personnel to step up activities.

He added that the port has put measures in place to clear the backlog and ease long lines expected at this time of year, including opening on Saturdays.

“We have to get the co-operation of Customs and Excise, over whom we have no control, to do their part,” he said.

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