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JIS News

The Jamaica Customs Department has organized a week of activities to mark International Customs Day on January 26.
Speaking with JIS News, Naomi Goulbourne Rodney, Public Relations Manager at Jamaica Customs Department said, “Instead of observing one day we thought we would make it a week of activities to give information and interact with our customers.”
The Jamaica Customs Department has adopted the theme for International Customs Day, ‘Safer World Trade through Security and Facilitation,’ for the week of events, which will be staged from January 22 to 28.Customs Week will kick off with 10:00 a.m. services at the Church of the Open Bible in Kingston; Salvation and Deliverance Sanctuary of Praise in Belfield, Runaway Bay, St. Ann; and Calvary Baptist Church in Montego Bay, St. James.
Activities continue on Thursday, January 26 with Customer Appreciation Day at several ports of entry.Mrs. Rodney noted, “On International Customs Day, we will be posting an information desk or booth at most of the ports to answer questions and listen to the needs of our customers to hear what we are doing right or wrong and how we can make it right. We will seek to interact with clients on another level on that day.”
The week culminates with a Customs Information Fair at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre on Saturday, January 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
“The thinking behind this is to have some of our major clients and stakeholders displaying their wares and giving information. We should have all the agencies that we perform duties for in attendance such as the (Ministries of) National Security, Health and Agriculture interacting with our customers as well,” Mrs. Rodney explained.
Customs traditionally performed fiscal and economic duties such as collecting taxes and controlling movements of goods, persons and commodities. However, since the horrific events of September 11, 2001, customs is now involved in a much wider range of activities.
Mrs. Rodney, said that protecting national markets from counterfeits, the society from drugs, and the environment from hazardous products are all examples of this new and wider role.
“Through these activities, the Jamaica Customs Department greatly contributes to the development of the economy of the country, and ensures proper management of international trade,” she added.
International Customs Day, January 26, is celebrated annually under the auspices of the World Customs Organization (WCO), designed to facilitate trade and travel of the world’s citizens. The WCO has 166 member states with its headquarters in Brussels.