The new Customs Act, when passed, will provide the centrepiece for the modernisation and transformation of the Customs landscape, says Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke.
He noted that the legislation will better address the complexities of the modern trade and commerce environment and facilitate ease of cross border trade and other commercial activities.
“The New Customs Act… modernises Jamaica Customs to be able to deliver services in a more streamlined and efficient way,” the Minister said.
“That vision of this very nimble and efficient and commercial Jamaica requires a nimble and efficient commercial customs [sector], enabled by a modern piece of legislation,” Clarke added.
He was addressing the Jamaica Customs Agency’s (JCA) 10th Anniversary Stakeholders’ Appreciation Awards, held recently at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in St. Andrew.
Clarke said the legislation will also encourage greater levels of productivity, noting that it will be conducive to the dynamics of contemporary modes of production.
“The nature of commerce today is such that those modes of production have to be anticipated by our laws. The good news is that the new Customs Act anticipates all these new modes of production where countries and territories are interacting with each other,” he noted.
The Customs Act, 2020 will repeal and replace the current 1941 law, and provide a modern framework that further enhances the ease of doing business.
It will improve Customs practices and procedures to facilitate trade effectively and efficiently, and will also ensure increased predictability and compliance with Customs requirements.
In addition, the Act will improve Customs practices and procedures to facilitate trade effectively and efficiently.
Clarke explained that the intent is to pass the Act at the same time as the Regulations.
“The Customs Act… spent, maybe, 18 months in Joint Select Committee. The report was tabled and the Bill has been tabled; but we did make a promise to stakeholders that we would not pass the Bill before the Regulations were completed.
“The Regulations are being worked on and there are some intergovernmental issues that need to be resolved. But as soon as they are resolved, we intend to pass both the Regulations and the new Customs Bill,” he indicated.