Kelly’s Freeport Gets Customs Undertaking
After three successive episodes, Bahamas Customs gave Kelly’s Freeport Limited an undertaking in Supreme Court yesterday that it will not detain any more goods until the court decides in the matter.
The move came at what was to be the hearing for the interlocutory injunction before Justice Hartman Longley.
However, instead of arguing about whether an injunction should be issued, Attorneys Gary Francis and Melissa Wright in the Attorney-General’s Office gave the undertaking on behalf of Customs and Kelly’s accepted.
Attorneys Fred Smith, Carey Leonard and J.C. Whitaker of Callenders & Co. are representing Kelly’s.
“We are pleased that the Attorney-General has given a solemn undertaking to the court and that is as good as an injunction,” Attorney Smith told The Freeport News Tuesday afternoon.
Kelly’s and Customs have been feuding over bonded goods sales in which Customs is now requiring the wholesaler to report its monthly returns to them.
Kelly’s has maintained that Customs has no lawful authority to make such a request and, while they are prepared to cooperate to develop a standard reporting system that applies to all licensees under the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), Customs has taken a variety of steps to force them to comply, which included detaining their trailers full of goods.
In fact, Kelly’s said that on three occasions their goods have been detained and as much as 12 trailers have been withheld over a number of weeks totalling some $600,000 worth of goods.
The first eight containers were detained for some two weeks in mid-September and the last set of containers were delayed just last week for a week.
Kelly’s insists that Customs is behaving unlawfully and that Customs’ demand that the company produce a bonded sales report is not a requirement in the Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA).