Business owners anticipate more Customs improvement

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ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Heritage Quay business operators laud the work of Customs Comptroller Raju Boddu – but look forward to further improvements following a meeting today.

President of the Heritage Quay Merchants Association, Elizabeth Minors, said since Boddu took the helm of the Customs Department in February, there has been a marked improvement in the department’s relations with its members.

One Heritage Quay merchant, Vijay Tewani, owner of Caribbean Gems, agreed with Minors.

“It definitely has improved, especially the processing of the warrants. It used to take a couple of days (but) now as long as all the documents are done they do it on the same day,” Tewani said. “So the processing has been really good, really faster than before.”

Tewani added that the Customs Department is also more customer oriented.

“They try to help people more by listening to the people, not like before. They are not really wasting our time or their time,” he said.

Executive members of the association will meet with the comptroller today as a follow-up to an October meeting. It is hoped that following the consultation some of the suggestions made will soon be brought into practice.

“The Heritage Quay Merchants Association has been advocating for this type of dialogue and commends the efforts of the minister for implementing this initiative,” a release said.

In October, association members met with the deputy Customs Comptroller Peter Georges, and two representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a meeting brokered by Minister of Finance Harold Lovell.

During that meeting the association reported that frank and open discussions were conducted.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)


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