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Oct 21, 2014

Customs Department Participates in W.T.O. Workshop

Thomas Young

There is another workshop ongoing. It involves the Directorate for Foreign Trade, the Customs and Excise Department and the World Trade Organization. The five-day workshop will determine where the country stands with the implementation of a facilitation agreement approved by W.T.O., but ratified by trade ministers back in November of 2013.  One department that is directly involved with trade facilitation in the practical sense is the Customs and Excise Department. Assistant Comptroller, Thomas Young, told News Five today over several shortfalls of the current system and how the coming together of all these partners in the trade industry will deter the illegal trading of goods.

 

Thomas Young, Assistant Comptroller, Customs and Excise Department

“The trade facilitation agreement is to benefit compliant importers or exporters and there are some measures that are under the trade facilitation agreement that measures our efficiency in creating the enabling environment to facilitate legitimate trade.”

 

Duane Moody

“What, from your experience, have you noticed to be some of the shortfalls that your department is experiencing in complying with these things?”

 

Thomas Young

“Some of the measures that we are not fully in compliance with is publication…inquiry points where we are supposed to have a website with all the customs procedures in place, explaining all the duty rates applicable, all the requirements to import or export from your country. So we are in the process of developing our website providing our inquiry points, to be compliant with this particular measure. Other measures might be some of the taxes that we have placed on transit goods for example. We have some social fees, some administration fees that are not in compliance with what the measure requires.”

 

Duane Moody

“What would you say is needed to ensure that there is an ease to what you are doing? is it just solely on the strategies in place or it is really not getting cooperation from other departments, from the general public to work along with you to ensure that everything is in compliance?”

 

Thomas Young

“It is good that you ask that question because when we did our trade facilitation needs back in 2009, one of our main shortcomings was the automation of the whole customs procedure which is now in place. we now have in place what is called a sicudaworld, which is the fully automation of all the customs procedures which allows importers to input their declaration online, twenty-four-seven. And this fully automation has made us more compliant than we were in 2009—compliant and efficient.”

 

The workshop wraps up on Friday. 

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