Clarke says new Customs Bill will modernise Customs procedures

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Clarke says new Customs Bill will modernise Customs procedures

Friday, July 12, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, says the newly tabled Customs Act is an effort to bring Jamaica's customs procedures into the modern era.

Dr Clarke, who was speaking at the 4th Business Management Conference hosted by the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) at the Jamaica Pegasus yesterday, said the new Bill, which seeks to repeal and replace the current 1941 Act, takes into consideration the fact that Jamaica's economy is heavily weighted towards trade.

“Trade accounts for a significant proportion of our gross domestic product and, as a result, having a customs procedure which is efficient and indispensable, from the chemicals used at the University of the West Indies (UWI) for experimenting to the raw materials used in your factories; all that has to come through our ports,” he said.

“If we can make that more efficient and more predictable, it enhances the competitive environment,” he added.

The 852-page bill, which was tabled by Dr Clarke two weeks ago, is among the key strategic priorities of the Government to create an environment that facilitates trade and promote greater ease of doing business. The Bill is expected to promote future business opportunities for Jamaica, especially in the areas of shipping, logistics and international trade.

The proposed new Customs legislation will retain some of the substantive provisions of the current Act and will incorporate several new provisions geared towards trade facilitation and international best practices.

The new Act will allow for more transparency, improved dispute resolution, provision of administrative appeal processes for Customs decisions, increased predictability, the introduction of advance rulings, increased facilitation for compliance with customs processes and people should benefit from added facilitation for the processes and clearance times.

—Balford Henry

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