Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, speaking at yesterday’s press conference on the implementation of ASYCUDA World. He was joined by Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland (left) and Comptroller of Customs, Owen Holder. (S.Austin/BGIS)

Government will be setting up a public-private sector committee to ensure there is greater business facilitation.

Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, said this committee would also be tasked with dealing with complaints and resolving issues. 

He made the comments on Thursday evening during a press conference, at Government Headquarters, to discuss the recent implementation of ASYCUDA World.

“That structure will be re-established so that the…Customs professionals will be able to sit…with various stakeholders across a number of government departments and address any issues relating to classification, tariffs, etc.  I am sure you are aware that we have had plenty issues, whether cement, bitumen and a host of trade facilitation issues.

“We believe that…if there is any specific policy coming out of that structure, then it would come to the Ministry of Finance, and we would make the determination.  We want to make sure that people have the opportunity to lodge any complaint; give feedback to Customs on how to improve the standing operating procedures and resolve any specific conflict that may arise,” Mr. Straughn stated.

Meanwhile, Comptroller of Customs, Owen Holder, said Customs had introduced a new system with regard to processing barrels, so as to reduce the length of clearance time.

He explained that there would be a short interview by the Customs official, and once satisfied that the content of the barrel was identical to what had been declared on the declaration form, the importer would be permitted to pay the duties identified and the barrel released without examination.

Minister Straughn stressed, however, that scanning technology would be a part of that security measure at the port.  He explained that the barrels should be scanned even before the individual arrived at the port, so it would help inform the risk management of the process.

Click here to view the full press conference on the recent implementation of ASYCUDA World.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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