Ministry of Commerce appoints working group on illicit trade
A working group against illicit trade has been appointed to combat illicit trade, in particular alcohol and tobacco.
In a press release Thursday, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said its Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon appointed 11 members of the task force in a virtual meeting.
“Public-private partnership is essential to fight illicit trade,” said Gopee-Scoon.
“The establishment of this task force is a clear demonstration of the government’s commitment to a holistic and coordinated approach to tackling the illicit trade which has intensified in Trinidad and Tobago and therefore affects our legitimate local businesses. ”
Emphasizing the important role that the task force must play in mitigating the impact of illicit trade, she said: “The formation of the task force comes at a crucial and sensitive time, when our economy, our businesses and our communities. consumers are in a vulnerable position as a result of the covid19 pandemic, ”said Gopee Scoon.
The illicit trade in alcohol, tobacco and other products affects the country by depriving it of much needed tax revenue. Trade also harms legitimate businesses and endangers the health and safety of customers.
The task force will implement an action plan that includes strengthening the legal framework to combat illicit trade, strengthening the capacity of ministries and law enforcement agencies to combat illicit trade. , improved collaboration between regulatory and enforcement agencies, and public awareness.
The ministry said the task force was co-chaired by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Ayleen Alleyne-Ovid and Gary Joseph, permanent secretary of the Ministry of National Security.
The working group also brings together several agencies and ministries of the public sector as well as private sector bodies and non-governmental organizations to implement the initiatives set out in the national action plan.