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TCA | Aug 9, 2022

Turks & Caicos scraps customs declaration cards

/ Our Today

administrator

Introducing e-gates to replace customs declaration cards

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Border Control & Employment, Althea Been.

Durrant Pate/Contributor

Turks and Caicos Islands is scrapping the use of customs declaration cards as the government  there redevelops and modernise the Providenciales International Airport to accommodate the territory’s growing tourism sector.

Instead, the administration is implementing over the next 12 months electronic gates using biometrics, which promises to speed up passenger processing at the airport. Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Border Control & Employment, Althea Been, who recently made the revelation said the Government’s plan to introduce e-gates (electronic gates), as another measure to leverage self-service and biometrics to automate and expedite immigration processing at the airport.

In addition to these measures, the Government is also moving towards one single border force team and away from separate Immigration and Customs teams, as part of its approach to better centralize key services at the airport.

Benefits of installing e-gates

Some of the benefits of installing e-gates at the Airport include full automation of the border control process with state-of-the-art passenger authentication software. This software will leverage biometric data contained in the ePassport, which will be captured live at the gate.

Passengers will see experience reduced waiting times as they will be allowed to carry out checks themselves in just a few minutes allowing for more dwelling time in a duty-free area. The new systems will also allow more flexibility in terms of process management for the benefit of border authorities.

In addition to these measures, the Government is also moving towards one single border force team and away from separate Immigration and Customs teams, as part of its approach to better centralize key services at the airport.

According to Been, “Cabinet at its recent meeting last week removed the declaration customs cards from our processes, which means our customers who are not making a declaration can now walk straight through as soon as that is gazetted, that will begin immediately.”

Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting for the redevelopment of the airport on Wednesday, July 20, Been explained that some of the measures that the government is currently working on and have been approved, would alleviate concerns about the management of the Immigration Hall.

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