Jamaica Customs Agency Urged to Identify Options to Improve Service

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, addresses Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) staff and stakeholders at the launch a JCA ‘Customs Meets the Community’ public awareness initiative at Customs House at Myers’ Wharf in Kingston on Tuesday, January 24.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, is challenging the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) to identify options for improving customs activities, in order to optimise the Agency’s capacity for revenue collection.
  • Customs duties account for approximately one-third of total tax revenues in Jamaica, the Minister informed.
  • Mr. Shaw was addressing the launch of a community-based initiative, ‘Customs Meets the Community’, held at Customs House at Myers’ Wharf in Kingston, yesterday (January 24).

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, is challenging the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) to identify options for improving customs activities, in order to optimise the Agency’s capacity for revenue collection.

Noting that efficient customs procedures and processes are important elements in the Government’s drive for economic growth, Mr. Shaw said the JCA must be keen to maximise the detection of revenue leakage while also maintaining trade facilitation.

Customs duties account for approximately one-third of total tax revenues in Jamaica, the Minister informed.

Mr. Shaw was addressing the launch of a community-based initiative, ‘Customs Meets the Community’, held at Customs House at Myers’ Wharf in Kingston, yesterday (January 24).

“Economic competitiveness and productivity are enhanced by the fostering of rapid movement across border entry or exit and we rely on the daily operation of sea and air cargo (and) international postal systems for our economic, commercial and social well- being,” the Minister said.

“So, we must recognise that there is an inextricable link between customs systems and an economy’s ability to attract investors, increase productivity and boost exports,” Mr. Shaw added.

He urged the customs agents to practise appropriate comportment and high levels of integrity, even as the Government supports the Agency in the implementation of systems and technology.

The Minister, meanwhile, commended the launch of the community public awareness initiative, which seeks to reach stakeholders in St. Elizabeth, St. Catherine and Portland over the course of this quarter.

The Agency intends to extend the engagements throughout the 2017/18 financial year to other parishes, following evaluations.

Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese, in his remarks, said the initiative will be used to provide information about the JCA, as well as garner feedback on how the Agency can improve its service delivery.

He said small business proprietors, principals, church administrators, charity organisations, Members of Parliament, returning residents and community leaders will be among stakeholders and customers targeted. The engagements will be supported by the Social Development Commission (SDC), the Divisional Police and other regulatory agencies.

The launch of the programme forms part of activities to mark Customs Week, being observed under the theme: ‘Data Analysis for Effective Border Management’.

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