Chief Justice Roxane George, SC, on Friday ordered the Director of the Local Content Secretariat (LCS), Martin Pertab, to issue Ramps Logistics (Guyana) a Local Content Certificate by noon on Monday.
In September, the company, which has been providing freight forwarding and supply chain management services here since 2013, filed judicial review proceedings against the Local Content Secretariat over its denial of a Local Content Certificate.
Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, SC, and Pertab were named respondents.
The company had argued that its certificate denial was “unlawful, unreasonable and arbitrary” and breached the Local Content Act 2021.
In handing down her ruling on Friday afternoon, the Chief Justice, among other things, stated that Pertab considered irrelevant matters in deciding to refuse the company’s application.
One of the matters considered was the criminal charges against Ramps Logistics for making false declarations to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
In fact, Solicitor General Nigel Hawke, who represented the respondents, admitted that Ramps Logistics had met the requirements for the certificate.
He highlighted that the company’s updated application was halted pending the hearing and determination of those criminal charges.
Against this background, Justice George referenced the presumption of innocence principle in Guyana’s Constitution.
Notwithstanding, Pertab was reminded that if he did not comply with the Chief Justice’s order, he would be held in contempt of the Court. The matter will come up on February 20, 2023, for further directions.
Ramps Logistics, a company with Trinidadian shares, took the spotlight a few months ago after being.
After publicising its application’s denial, the LCS revealed that the information submitted was insufficient for a proper compliance evaluation to be done by the Secretariat in accordance with the requirements of the Act.
It was also disclosed that the company was fined $20 million for breach of GRA’s customs regulations.
Last month, the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Shaun Rampersaud, was hauled before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court and slapped with 10 charges.
The charges against the company are that between 2021 and 2022, at Georgetown, they made 10 false declarations on applications presented to a customs officer for tax exemptions on several items.