Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Chris Sinckler (FP)

Plans are under way to modernise this country’s Customs and Excise Department.

This was announced by Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Chris Sinckler, last week, as he addressed the opening ceremony of a regional customs sports tournament held at the Concord Experience, Christ Church.

Mr. Sinckler disclosed that the customs modernisation project, which was funded by the Inter American Development Bank, would involve "major legislative, organisational and technical upgrades to the customs machinery in Barbados".

He explained that it was government’s aim to "make our customs operations more efficient and effective as we seek to promote competition, strengthen our revenue collection capabilities, reduce congestion at the ports of entry, speed up legitimate trade and enhance the protection of our borders".

Mr. Sinckler said: "Among other things the new legislation…would provide safe and fluid trade lanes with allowances for post clearance auditing and risk management…The customs department will also strengthen its partnership with the private sector and provide the business community with an electronic single window which should allow importers easier access to all of the services to the department from a computer at their desk."

He explained that the changes would help to reduce paperwork, waiting time and encourage a more efficient business facilitation climate.


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