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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • To strengthen its surveillance and cargo scanning capabilities, the Jamaica Customs Agency is seeking to acquire a fixed portal (scanning unit).
  • Major Reese also noted that officers will be able to access information from the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) world system relating to the shipment.
  • The ASYCUDA system is a web-based application designed to improve the agency’s efficiency and service delivery. It is being funded through a $487.84 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

To strengthen its surveillance and cargo scanning capabilities, the Jamaica Customs Agency is seeking to acquire a fixed portal (scanning unit).

In an interview with JIS News, Commissioner of Customs, Major (Ret’d) Richard Reese, said acquisition of the equipment would result in increased revenue and improved border protection.

“We will be able to identify products inside the container more accurately and if you have a suspicious product, you can then do several additional views,” he pointed out.

Major Reese explained that with the scanning unit, containers would be viewed vertically or horizontally.

He said the equipment will be of “significant cost,” and the agency is currently looking at various proposals to see how best it can be financed.

Major Reese also noted that officers will be able to access information from the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) world system relating to the shipment.

“So, if the images don’t match, that is also a trigger,” he said, pointing out that additional resources will be acquired in three weeks to allow officers to access the ASYCUDA world system when they are scanning containers.

“The message to persons who smuggle is that it is going to be very difficult and the penalties are high. I urge persons to do voluntary compliance and we will ensure that you can clear your goods quickly,” he said.

Major Reese pointed out that the penalties for breaches may be three times the value or the duty of the smuggled goods.

“So in essence, it will be near impossible sometimes for persons to pay that penalty and the goods will be forfeited. This is why we reinforce the information relating to our penalties and the power of the Customs Act, so that we can deter persons who are considering smuggling,” he said.

The ASYCUDA system is a web-based application designed to improve the agency’s efficiency and service delivery. It is being funded through a $487.84 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).