AG discusses importation of US goods with embassy officials, AmCham

Attorney General Anil Nandlall meets with officials from AmCham and the US Embassy
Attorney General Anil Nandlall meets with officials from AmCham and the US Embassy

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, MP on Tuesday met with the Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Zulfikar Ally and AmCham’s Economist Stephen Kissoon as well as the United States Embassy, Deputy Chief of Mission Mark Cullinane and Economic/Commercial Officer Benjamin Hulefeld.

They discussed issues relating to the importation of goods from the State of Florida.

The main concern of the delegation was the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) of Guyana’s refusal to accept Certificates of Free Sale issued by Enterprise Florida, the non-profit, public/private entity which certifies products for exports on behalf of the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Agriculture.

The Attorney General was informed that the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department is insisting on a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Certificate for such goods but that the FDA Certificate is no longer issued in respect of goods exported from Florida and that function is now performed by Enterprise Florida.

The Attorney General firstly reiterated Guyana’s commitment to free trade and market economy, subject of course to obligations owed under various treaties.

Secondly, the Attorney General cautioned that however, the Government and the state apparatus must remain vigilant to protect Guyana from “dumping”, a problem facing countries all over the globe. Therefore goods coming into the country, especially food items must be carefully scrutinized.

He indicated that both in and out of Government, he has received several complaints from local businesses of the very issue and that the problem has been compounded by the allegation that no-objection is granted to certain importers based upon no known criteria. The Attorney General further indicated that several litigation have been filed against the Government because of this very issue.

The Minister assured that he will follow the issue up with his colleague sector Minister and the Agency involved with a view of bringing regularity to this issue in a timely manner.