Licensing system for petrol stations in Jamaica under review

The Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM) is mulling a change in how gas stations are licensed. Out of a meeting between sector interests and Minister Phillip Paulwell, MSTEM said in a statement that the current licensing system may be contributing to the low margins that service station operators are now experiencing
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"On the issue concerning the inadequate profit margins being realised by the retailers, it was agreed that the number of service stations and their proximity to each other is contributing to the low margins," the ministry said. "Currently, the service stations are licensed by the Resident Magistrate courts and not by the ministry. The minister updated the meeting of the progress towards a one-stop-shop for licensing and registration of sector participants will help to resolve this problem."

The meeting - which included representatives from the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association, and the National Workers Union, which represents tanker drivers and petroleum haulage contractors - centred on discussions about averting a shutdown of the petroleum sector.

MSTEM said going forward, the bi-monthly Petroleum Advisory Council would resume, starting in October.