St. John’s Antigua- A Finance Ministry chief has made it clear that assessment reviews conducted by a team of experts into the Customs Division will not be left to catch dust on a shelf.
Revenue Reform Project Manager Everett Christian said the team’s recommendations would be implemented to enhance the division’s productivity.
The assessment process involved interviewing stakeholders including Customs workers and brokers as well as importers. The consultants also visited warehouses and other facilities to observe systems and controls.
Christian declined to detail the division’s strengths and weaknesses as identified by the consultants, saying he prefers to wait for the official report to be released.
As it relates to the changes that have taken place within the division over the last two years, Christian explained that the division has discontinued the practice of accepting open and undated cheques from businesses. Persons are now required to pay the duty and taxes at the time of the release.
The division has also put in place a quick release system that facilitates urgently required and perishable goods.
Also, merchants are now required to appoint brokers as a means of enhancing the level of accountability.
Going forward, Christian declared that the division would continue its efforts towards improving its operations.