JIS News

Jamaica acceded to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonisation of Customs Procedures, also known as the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) on Saturday (August 7), thus becoming the 128th contracting party.

Senior Director, Trade Facilitation and Special Projects at the Jamaica Customs Agency, Michelle Bryan, told JIS News that the RKC is designed to help contracting parties achieve a modern customs administration, improved facilitation and control and to deliver a simpler harmonised and more flexible approach.

“The RKC is really an international agreement that provides a set of comprehensive customs procedures to facilitate legitimate international trade while ensuring that customs revenue is protected,” the Senior Director explained.

“The RKC itself really promotes trade facilitation and some of the key principles governing the RKC surround simplified procedures, continuous development and improvement of customs control techniques using information technology and ensuring that there is a strengthened relationship between customs and trade,” she added.

Ms. Bryan stated that one of the good things about Jamaica becoming a contracting party to the RKC, is that it will give the country “a place at the table in terms of participating and providing inputs to future standard setting that will improve trade facilitation benefits”.

She pointed out that as a contracting party, Jamaica will be a member of the management committee that is comprised exclusively of RKC contracting parties.

The Senior Director further explained that the Convention elaborates a number of key principles, transparency and predictability of customs actions, standardisation and simplification of the process, which are key trade facilitation principles.

“It promotes simplified procedures for authorised persons and minimum necessary customs control to ensure compliance with regulations and using risk management,” Ms. Bryan added.

She contended that one of the good things about Jamaica becoming a contracting party is that “Jamaica Customs and by extension Jamaica have made many strides over the years to incorporate the principles of the RKC in our operations.

“We have taken a number of steps in terms of applying the principles that a modern customs should implement, so we would have eliminated a number of steps in our processes,” Ms. Bryan said, citing some paper-based applications which have given way to automated processing.

“So we have been using these principles and so, for Jamaica to be compliant with the RKC, we believe that we are in a good position to implement the various standards as required by this agreement,” she stated.

The Jamaica Customs Agency was instrumental in the accession process, being the agency to spearhead the process on behalf of the Government of Jamaica.

In May 2021, the Embassy of Jamaica in Brussels and Mission to the European Union deposited with the World Customs Organisation, the country’s Instrument of Accession to the RKC to be entered into force on August 7.

The RKC is regarded as the blueprint for effective and modern customs procedures. It is the international standard for making customs regulatory procedures as efficient and effective as possible.

Skip to content