Comptroller expects modest increase to million-dollar Christmas Barrel Initiative for 2019

Over 3,000 barrels expected this Christmas season. (File photo)

Comptroller of Customs Raju Boddu is expecting a modest increase in the number of barrels imported to the island during this year’s annual Christmas Barrel Initiative.

In the previous six years of the initiative, Customs has averaged clearing just about 3,100 barrels each period.

“This year,” said Boddu, “we might expect a little bit more; maybe 100 or 150 barrels.”

The modest increase should add approximately $50,000 to the $1 million that is normally expected from the scheme.

The comptroller attributed the expected increase to a number of factors to include increased efficiency of filing due to the newly-installed Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA); the additional two cash counters; additional Customs officers; and shuttle services available at the port to mitigate the hazards presented due to the ongoing port redevelopment.

“We are providing transportation for the stakeholders,” Boddu advised.

Additionally, the comptroller explained that the entire process should be simple because, “the entire processing system will be done by one Customs officer because it is a simple transaction, there would be no need for a broker.”

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