Inniss: Barbados must become more efficient
During a wide-ranging discussion with members of the Barbados Customs Brokers and Clerk Association over the weekend, Inniss pointed out that being more efficient was all part of the strategy to enhance competitiveness in the wider economy and society, ultimately resulting in containing the cost of living and doing business in Barbados.
He drew reference to the fact that at present, approximately 69 per cent of all containers were inspected by the Customs Department, and noted that it was projected that by 2031, through the use of the Central Cargo Examination Facility, utilising risk-based methodology, the number of containers inspected would be reduced to 15 per cent.
“Dwelling times (the amount of time a container spends at the port before moving on) are also expected to be significantly reduced given the centralisation of relevant inspection personnel at the facility and the use of the services of the Barbados Electronic Single Window interfacing with the Barbados Port Inc.’s Port Management System and the Automated Systems for Customs Data (ASYCUDA World),” the Commerce Minister observed.
Stating that he was “ever mindful” that some persons will resist change, no matter how good that change may be for the wider society, Inniss pointed out that he was far more worried about delays in receiving goods and the attendant direct costs of demurrage, spoilage, labour and finance costs.
“There is a larger segment of the population who wish for the right things to be done and to be done now – not next year. So, once we have to pursue the provision of a modern centralised clearing facility to expedite the release of cargo into Barbados, then that must be done and done without fear or favour,” he affirmed.