Commissioner of Customs, Devon Rowe, says the department will soon roll out an Information Communication Technology (ICT) system that will improve the infrastructure at Customs sites and data sharing among stakeholders, as well as allow greater coordination between agencies.
Mr. Rowe, speaking at a Customs Week 2012 Symposium, on Wednesday (January 25) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, said that the system, to be introduced during 2012/2013 fiscal year, will contribute to improved border control and allow for proper validation of goods and values, minimizing the risk of errors and fraudulent activities and allowing for the creation of a true Port Community System.
He told the gathering that improvements in border control will allow for better security at the ports and airports, for cargo arriving and leaving the island. Once the project has been implemented, there will be increased security via surveillance systems that may be accessed from anywhere an Internet connection is available.
Biometric systems will allow for decreased occurrences of fraudulent identities, and provide trend analysis for high risk travelers, he said.
Mr. Rowe stated a major thrust at the Department is to detect the smuggling of goods, and combat commercial fraud where traders attempt to evade or minimize the payment of duties and taxes. Vigorous efforts and collaboration will continue with other agencies, to protect the country’s integrity and preserve food and medical imports.
“The Department will continue to develop a consultative atmosphere of dialogue between government agencies and stakeholders, to facilitate traders and eliminate obstacles in the clearing process, in order to benefit the private sector, as well as to stimulate foreign investments,” he said.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter