Data system to be web-based
Sending items back home may be much easier for the Jamaican Diaspora, following plans announced by the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) to adopt a paperless, web-based automated data system.
The system will streamline customs declarations as well as accounting and transit procedures. Full implementation is expected to be completed by March.
The new automated system is in keeping with the Government’s strategy to improve trade facilitation and service delivery in customs administration and when completed will see customs declarations, shipping manifests as well as accounting procedures, and transit and suspense procedures all being conducted electronically.
The system is being implemented through a US$4 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank .
Customs Broker, Junior Waugh, who has been using ASYCUDA since its pilot phase in December 2014, in speaking with the Jamaican Information Services said he is pleased with the new processes being implemented. He noted that the system is no longer paper-based and customs brokers do not have to print multiple forms to file declarations.
He noted that during the initial roll-out, some brokers have had challenges connecting to the system and filling out their documents.
“From time to time, the complaints that we get from individual brokers, sometimes they are not able to go on, but in talking to JCA we realised that we have a number of issues, in terms of the connectivity, in terms of the band width that we get from our Internet service providers,” he said, adding that some of these problems are being remedied.
“It’s a new thing and one would expect that you will have some teething pains. The teething pains are there and they are real, but based on discussions, I am confident that they will get it right,” he added.
Waugh, who is also president of the Jamaica Society of Customs Brokers said since the roll out, training sessions have been organised for custom brokers in Kingston and Montego Bay.