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  • The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) plans to further deepen its engagements with clients and stakeholders through a special traders forum that will be held annually, beginning in the 2018/19 fiscal year.
  • The strategic initiative, which was launched by Finance and Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, on January 26, is designed to facilitate improved medium and long term efficiency within Jamaica’s trade environment through effective service delivery by the JCA.
  • “I’m really pleased about the concept. You are now charting a formal course to communicating better with your importers and all of your (other) stakeholders. I commend you on that because we need it now more than ever (based on) what (the Government has) on the drawing board,” he indicated.

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) plans to further deepen its engagements with clients and stakeholders through a special traders forum that will be held annually, beginning in the 2018/19 fiscal year.

It will bring together interests involved in the wide spectrum of trade, inclusive of export, import, logistics, warehousing and haulage to educate, sensitize and heighten their awareness of the various processes and procedures involved along the supply chain.

The strategic initiative, which was launched by Finance and Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, on January 26, is designed to facilitate improved medium and long term efficiency within Jamaica’s trade environment through effective service delivery by the JCA.

Mr. Shaw, who welcomed the forum, said it opens up a new avenue for effective communication.

“I’m really pleased about the concept. You are now charting a formal course to communicating better with your importers and all of your (other) stakeholders. I commend you on that because we need it now more than ever (based on) what (the Government has) on the drawing board,” he indicated.

Among these, the Minister said, are the construction of 14,000 new hotel rooms over the next four years, 3,000 of which he noted have already been built; the creation of the Caymanas Economic Zone; construction of Government Circle around National Heroes Park as part of broader plans for downtown Kingston’s redevelopment; the proposed divestment of Norman Manley International Airport; and the establishment of a logistics centre at Vernamfield in Clarendon.

“All of these things (require) an efficient and well-comported customs that operates with integrity and high levels of efficiency and mobility. I therefore commend you on this initiative (which aims to) improve communication and get things done in a speedy and efficient (manner),” Mr. Shaw stated.

For her part, JCA Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner of Customs, Velma Ricketts Walker, said the forum is a continuation of initiatives by the agency to better engage with its clients and stakeholders on its services.

She said the others included: the Customs Business Partnership Forum, launched in January 2017, that entails the JCA’s engagement of stakeholders, particularly in the logistics; and the ‘Customs meets the Community’, which the Commissioner said took the agency’s members across the island where they engaged a wide cross section of persons in discussions on how the JCA can further improve service delivery.

Mrs. Ricketts Walker said through the custom traders forum, “we want to ensure that we entertain, engage and interact with all levels of the sector so that we can show how we impact (them) and we can deliver or services better”.

“The JCA continues to place emphasis on its trade facilitation mandate with the aim of further building our capacity and improving our regional and global competitiveness as a customs administration. The role we play in this area, is very critical to national development and indeed, we take it seriously,” she underscored.