Trade Board, customs brokers form alliance

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Trade Board, customs brokers form alliance

Friday, January 24, 2020

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The Trade Board Limited (TBL) has reinstated its bimonthly meetings with the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of Jamaica (CBFFAJ) in an effort to improve efficiency and customer relations.


This became necessary due to several challenges being experienced by the association, some of which were unknown to the Trade Board. As such, the meetings will foster clear communication lines and direct follow-up channels.


Late last year, there was a backlog of motor vehicle import permits. The backlog presented a challenge for the custom brokers and there was no opportunity for an open discussion about the challenges being experienced by both entities with a view to resolving them.


“A number of measures were introduced to reduce the permit backlog which was experienced in August 2019. Structural changes to the office, staff redeployment and hiring are key measures being taken,” said Douglas Webster, trade administrator/CEO of the Trade Board.


In the meeting, Webster revealed that the Trade Board processed 58,638 motor vehicle import permits in 2019 which was almost triple 20,222 permits in 2014. This has had serious implications for manageability as the staff quota remained unchanged.


Arising from that meeting, the Trade Board actioned a few items that will assist with some of the lingering issues raised. Also, the Trade Board pledged to follow up on other matters such as delayed permits, the validity date of permits, tariff discrepancies and delicencing of specific items relating to the betting and gaming industry. Some of these issues will be addressed through consultation with the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA).


“We want to register our gratitude to the trade administrator and his team for working steadfastly to address some of our concerns. While we acknowledge that things have improved significantly, we are happy that Mr Webster agreed without hesitation to the resumption of the bimonthly meetings with The Trade Board Limited.

This forum has deepened the lines of communication as we work towards addressing all issues faced by members,” said Mitzie Gordon Burke-Green, president of the CBFFAJ.
The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 2, 2020.


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