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Story Highlights

  • Finance and Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, has hailed the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) as an important stakeholder in the country’s development.
  • “The responsibilities that you have here are really awesome, because they cover so many areas that are so important to the economic development of the country,” Mr. Shaw emphasised.
  • He welcomed the JCA’s ongoing implementation of various technology applications and platforms designed to significantly enhance the agency’s operations.

Finance and Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, has hailed the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) as an important stakeholder in the country’s development.

He said that in addition to revenue collections at the ports, the entity plays a key role in ensuring national safety and security.

This is through monitoring of shipments to prevent the entry or export of contraband and illicit items, such as guns and narcotics, as well as food and pharmaceuticals deemed unfit for consumption.

“The responsibilities that you have here are really awesome, because they cover so many areas that are so important to the economic development of the country,” Mr. Shaw emphasised.

The Minister was addressing the JCA’s management and staff during a meeting at the agency’s offices at Customs House in Newport East, Kingston on Tuesday, August 9.

In lauding the management and staff, headed by Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner of Customs, Major (Ret’d) Richard Reese, Mr, Shaw told them that they have a responsibility to execute their duties to the best of their ability.

He welcomed the JCA’s ongoing implementation of various technology applications and platforms designed to significantly enhance the agency’s operations.

These include the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) World that will re-engineer the JCA’s business processes; and the Port Community System (PCS) that will streamline the tracking shipments.

“All of these are positive developments and I want to commend the Commissioner and all of you for where we have reached in these things,” Mr. Shaw stated.

Meanwhile, Major Reese advised of several other initiatives which have been implemented or are in the process of being rolled out.

They include the enterprise content management system that will result in the digitising and electronic filing of all paper-based records in addition to processing applications; a single electronic trade window to establish a platform for applying and paying for permits and licences as well as processing and issuing certificates; an overtime policy to ensure operational equity and accountability; and succession planning.

Mr. Shaw, who also toured the JCA complex, was accompanied by State Minister, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, and Special Advisor, Senator Aubyn Hill.