JIS News

The Customs Department is reporting revenue collection of $92.61 billion for the period April to December 2012.

The amount, while an increase of $9.37 billion or 11 per cent over the same period last year, was a shortfall of $1.15 billion or 1 per cent against the target of $93.77 billion.

“We are one per cent behind our year-to-date target and we intend to recover that position between now and March 31,” said Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese on Wednesday (January 23), at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank.

He said that several revenue support initiatives will be introduced utilizing the department’s contraband enforcement team.

“We will be focusing on smuggling, revenue leakage and under-invoicing and those importers, who try to bring in excess goods, which are not manifested,” he said.

Major Reese said the department will also be increasing the percentage of random inspection of Authorized Economic Operators, and review all bonds for public-bonded warehouses to ensure adequate duty coverage.

There are also plans to host more frequent motor vehicle auctions and impose increased penalties for breaches of the Customs Act.

Major Reese said that the Department expects to see a boost in revenue from the re-introduction of the scrap metal trade, through the processing fees for containers.

Turning to other areas, the Customs Department head said that there have been successes in contraband and narcotics interdiction, which he credited, in large part, to the assistance of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

He said that Customs personnel are also benefitting from training in many areas, with officers currently engaged in a two-week workshop, which focuses on Intellectual Property Rights.

“This will enable our officers to be more effective in ensuring that the rights of individual works are protected,” Major Reese stated.