JIS News

The Jamaica Customs Department’s vision of being a world class organization, protecting the country’s borders and revenue and facilitating trade, is being realized through the modernization of the department’s operations.
Improvements to the physical structure have seen the introduction of the automated system to include computers, which have enhanced techniques in drug detection and illicit movements of goods.
There have also been the fast track and pre clearance process where entry documents are prepared and presented to customs and clearance done, so that by the time the goods arrive, it can be released to customers.
Acting Director of Operations, Customs, at Sangster International Airport, Densill Sinclair, told JIS News that the improvement in the delivery of service had not gone unnoticed by the public which had been experiencing shorter waiting time for the processing of documents and collection of goods.
“At present, we at the Jamaica Customs Department are working hard and are in line with our set customs target. We are making steady progress. and ask the public to bear with us as we try to improve the quality of service that we give to the public,” Mr. Sinclair said.
He highlighted different aspects of the modernization process including the e-business, e-manifest, and e-payment facilities, whereby entries are processed and customs duties are paid through electronic means.
This week (January 25-31) will see a series of activities being carried out in customs offices across the island in commemoration of International Customs Day. One of the activities carried out at the Sangster International Airport in observance of this day was a customer appreciation day where clients were given printed information of aspects of customs operations.
Guided by the motto: “Country above self”, Mr. Sinclair said that despite the many challenges faced by the department as it sought to serve the public, the work to further upgrade the systems could be complemented when customs brokers were brought in on the process.
“I think we now have to put some of the responsibilities on our customs brokers to introduce to their clients the e-payment system because that help us so much in terms of. problems with the collection of cheques. in the e-payment we don’t have to worry about returned or dishonoured cheques,” Mr. Sinclair noted.
Meanwhile, the Acting Collector of Customs for Montego Bay, Ms. Patricia Buchanan, whose offices are located at the Revenue Centre off Howard Cooke Boulevard, told JIS News that despite the recent modernization programme, the greatest challenge faced by the department was compliance.
“No matter what changes there are, some clients still find it hard to comply with the requirements,” she stressed.
Ms. Buchanan urged all importers who conducted business with the customs department to be more compliant and to assist the process, so that they in the end would also get good service.

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