Government is seeking out ways to see how long delays being experienced at the island???s air and sea ports can be addressed.
Attorney General, Adriel Brathwaite, made this disclosure as he addressed the Annual General Meeting of the Barbados Customs Brokers and Clerks Association at the National Council on Substance Abuse headquarters last Saturday.
Noting that he had personally witnessed individuals sitting in the Port to have their barrels cleared, the Attorney General said there was a need to see what could be done differently to avoid long waits.
He disclosed that Cabinet recently addressed the issue of additional resources for the Customs Department with a view to reducing the waiting times of customers, particularly at the airport.
However, Mr. Brathwaite pointed out that new, untrained officers would still have to be trained, and therefore could not be placed into action immediately. In the interim, he said, consideration was being given to bringing in retired customs officers on a contract basis to assist in alleviating the situation.
???We need a creative solution because we are really having some bottle necks at the sea port and the airport on afternoons, and it does not send a good signal to us locally, or to our visitors when they come in and have to wait for an undue length of time at customs and immigration,??? the Minister noted.
However, Mr. Brathwaite reminded those present that while he appreciated the need to move people as quickly as possible, Barbados could not compromise its security.??He told the members that the Association must therefore be seen as partners and as conduits for better business in Barbados.
???I am sure many of these business men don???t have the time or knowledge to go into Customs, to go into the Port and go through all of your processes, so to me you are partners with Government and with the businesses in Barbados as trade facilitators,??? the Attorney General stated.