Truckers using the St George’s Port are not happy with some new regulations that are being put in place by the Grenada Ports Authority (GPA) and the Police operating on the island’s main port of entry for vessels.
One of the truckers told THE NEW TODAY that a contentious issue concerns the plan for Port Police to search a barrel or other personal items that have already been checked by the Customs Department to leave the port after the consignee would have paid the required duties and taxes due to government.
“I will not allow you or permit you in somebody’s barrel which I get a work to do,” said one angry truck driver.
“I will stand up to you – I don’t care if you arrest me. I will not allow you to go in the person’s goods which I don’t have any knowledge about,” he added.
According to the trucker, he will not be held responsible for anything that the person claimed to have lost from their goods after being re-opened by the police after inspected by Customs.
“The man pay Customs then so what is it you want to see,” he quipped.
The trucker said that the better approach is to put back the barrel on the Port compound and call the importer of the item to be present when the goods are being checked once again by the Port Police.
“I will not allow you to open it – you can’t tell me to open it. You can’t put me to open somebody’s box.”
“I hear they are talking about charge and charge but they know who they (are) trying to frighten. They can’t frighten me with charge.”
The trucker also raised concern about a warning from the Port Police about clamping vehicles.
He said: “What they are going to clamp you for? If you park up your truck with a load of personal effects, they must put an area for you to go and park if you are waiting for your goods – you load your truck and you waiting for Customs to come and check you, you go sit down in a truck in the hot sun?”
“Does the Port provide food? Does the Port have a place where you can get a snack or a roti? You must go out to get that. You can’t tell me that if I go out the road to get a sandwich you want to come and clamp my truck and to pay $150.00.”
According to the trucker this kind of draconian action could lead to potential violence as some persons might then be forced to take the law into their own hands.
He expressed fears that the Police on the port are trying “to bully people” as there has been no real and extensive dialogue with truckers on the issue before the measures come into effect.
THE NEW TODAY was able to get a copy of the new measures that GPA and the Port Police are trying to enforce:-
Good Day Members,
Please see below, a summary of this morning’s meeting held at the Welcome Centre. In (attendance) were Port Police, Port Compliance and Safety Officer, and members of the PTHA Executive.
Mr. J. Newton (P.T.H.A)
Mr. K. Panchoo (P.T.H.A)
Mr. R. Aquart (P.T.H.A)
Mr. G. John (Port Police)
Mr. P. Francis (Port Authority)
Mrs. Boswells (Port Authority)
The port police are seeking cooperation in the following areas:
– Correct class of license for the vehicles being driven whether D and D1.
– All vehicles must be road worthy (properly insured, good tires, lights, no oil leaks etc.)
– Gross and Tare must be clearly written preferably on the right side of the truck however consideration will be given since its written on the truck.
– Overloading – You can and will be charged if you are overloaded as stipulated by the Road Traffic Act.
– The R.T.A also stipulates that loads should be properly covered and secured to your vehicle. You can and will be charged for non-compliance.
– Cutting across the road at the front – the port is prohibited as it causes unnecessary obstruction which can and will result (in) you being charged.
– A maximum of 3 trucks are allowed at a time as a three truck system has been put in place for consignee.
– Your load should not extend your vehicle no more than 5 feet with a Red flag as it can result in you being charged.
– Drivers are encouraged to observe and obey the speed limit when using the port compound.
– Avoid leaving your vehicles idling on the ports’ compound. This action can result in your vehicle being clamped and a charge.
– No Excuses will be accepted for non-compliance in regards to PPE. No caps should be worn as helmets (they are not the same thing).
– Your vehicle should be equipped with fully functional back-up alarm.
– All goods should be properly secured at the point of loading.
– Carrying passengers at the back of trucks is a NO NO especially when trucks are loaded and should be avoided at all time.
– Be mindful that the police can make a request to search and/or see your vehicle or cargo at any time.
– Avoid loitering on the port compound. You are required to remain outside the ports compound if your load is not yet ready.
– A New landing area has been established in front of the Queen’s Shed (close to where imported vehicles are stored). This will be for both haulers & truckers.
New Parking Arrangement
4 Places ( P. O. R. T.)
P – Close to the Post Office for people conducting business on the port. E.g. Agents, brokers, persons clearing barrels.
O – Back of the baggage shed – for Port & Customs workers.
R – By the equipment shed.
T – By the entrance to shed 3 – for traffickers.
Soon all visitors coming to use the port will be given a reflective vest on entry.
For clarification on any matter addressed and/or any other concern, please contact Mr. Newton, Mr. Aquart or Mr. Panchoo. Question can also be posted (on) this group chart.
We are kindly asking for cooperation & understanding as we strive to improve safe working conditions for all.