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JIS News

Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has underscored the importance of the Customs Department in the development of the country.
Addressing a special consultation organised by the Customs Department today (Jan. 27) at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge in Kingston, as part of activities marking Customs Week from January 25-31, the Prime Minister said that Customs was more than a revenue collection agency.
“I am not, for one moment, suggesting that the importance of that (revenue collection) should be underestimated. Customs is responsible, I think, for some $20 billion of revenue and therefore, is a critical contributor to the revenues of the country,” the Prime Minister pointed out.
“But… there are other important issues; security, for example, is an important issue. Border control has become increasingly important, given the threats to which the world is now exposed, and. the particular threats to which Jamaica is exposed, such as the inflow of guns and other contraband, which threaten the security of the country,” he argued.
Further to these, the Prime Minister said the Government has a responsibility to ensure that Customs administration is business-friendly, thereby attracting investments to the country.
While noting that there have been improvements in the Customs structure over the years, Mr. Golding cited the need for more work to be undertaken. In this regard, he underscored the “high priority,” which the Government places on the need to further enhance the Customs Department’s operations, thereby making it a more efficient organisation.