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Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reece, says the clearance of goods has been significantly improved, since implementation of the Customs Administration Fee (CAF) on April 1. Responding to questions on the issue on Wednesday, May 15, at the weekly Jamaica House press briefing, Major Reece said a joint release will be issued on Thursday, May 16, based on dialogue with brokers associations, and Fiscal Services, regarding challenges with the information systems. “We still have challenges with enclosures, which relates to part shipments…We expect that to be rectified shortly, but we have administrative systems in place to address that,” he told journalists. Commissioner Reece noted that since the CAF took effect, the discussions with a number of sectors; the decision to reduce rates on raw materials for manufacturers; and the adjustment in fees for June 1, had resulted in further changes to Customs’ information system modules. This, he said, had impacted the time frame for smoothing out the kinks in the system. “We expect that by the end of the month (May), those issues will be resolved,” he said. In February, Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, announced the application of a Customs Administration Fee on all imports, except for charitable organisations and the bauxite sector. The levy is expected to yield $1.2 billion in revenue.

Contact: Alphea Saunders