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Members of the business community will get another opportunity to familiarise themselves with the draft Customs Bill on Thursday, August 20, during a virtual consultation.

It will begin at 1:00 p.m., and interested persons willing to participate in the session should email the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) at bcci@barbadoschamber.com, or register online by clicking here.

A meeting was held recently to sensitise the business people about the new legislation and Comptroller of Customs, Owen Holder, said there was robust discussion at the session.

Mr. Holder stated: “The first consultation was very successful as we had inputs from Customs, the private sector, The UWI and CARICOM. We look forward to continued interest in this the second consultation as we work together in developing the Customs Bill.”

He added that the consultations were of critical importance as stakeholders were being informed of the various sections in the Bill, in particular the new inclusions.

Executive Director of the BCCI, Misha Lobban-Clarke, said over 125 persons participated in the first session and proffered the view that it signalled a successful and positive start to the discussion.

Mrs. Lobban-Clarke continued: “We look forward to more robust discussions on this Bill during the next two consultations, scheduled for August 20 and 26, respectively.  We encourage persons to familiarise themselves with the relevant sections of the Bill in order to enhance participation in these sessions and as a means of expediting the review process.

“This will ensure that the business community is fully aware of the proposed changes to the legislation and how they will impact on the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in Barbados.”

The BCCI’s Executive Director said it was anticipated that the feedback from the trade community would be submitted by the Customs and Excise Department (CED) to the Ministry of Finance for consideration in the draft legislation that would go before Parliament.

The consultations, being hosted by the BCCI, in collaboration with the CED, seek to bring about a better understanding of this country’s obligations under the World Trade Organization, the Trade Facilitation Agreement and CARICOM, and how they translate into customs requirements for import and export processes.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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