JG - 'New customs rules no threat to business' - Less paperwork for clearing of non-commercial goods
'New customs rules no threat to business' - Less paperwork for clearing of non-commercial goods
published: Sunday October 22, 2006
Susan Gordon, Business Reporter
Donovan Wignal, president of the Customs Brokers Association of Jamaica, says established brokerages handle larger commercial shipments. - File
The new import procedure implemented October 9, by the Customs Department will eat into the revenues of customs brokers, but will bring more convenience to the regular public clearing non-commercial items.
Individuals who import non-commercial goods valued up to US$3,000 (J$195,000) will be able to clear the items with less paper work and without the services of a customs broker.
But president of the Customs Brokers Association of Jamaica (CBAJ) Donovan Wignal said the new rules would not impact too greatly on the more established custom brokerages. Those brokerages do significantly more business with commercial importers.
A new procedure
Last week, Customs instituted a new procedure whereby individuals no longer needed to enter information on or use the C78X form when clearing items valuing more than US$1,000.
This limit was increased last week to US$3,000.
The Customs Department said under the new procedure, an Airway Bill indicating where the item was purchased and the cost was sufficient documentation to present directly to a customs officer to have the goods
Before the change, goods valuing more than US$1,000 would have to be cleared using an entry form formally known as the C78X, which was prepared by a customs broker at fees ranging from $1,600 to $2,500, depending on the item.
Clearance of commercial items require entry on the C78 forms.
"This is a way of reviewing the system and ensuring people come through as quickly as possible," said Director of Public Relations at the customs department Anneke Rousseau.
Rosseau said the procedure cuts down considerably, on the complications in paper work for individuals clearing non-commercial items.
"People are now able to clear goods by themselves," she said.
Less paper work
Prior to the new procedure, individuals had to write up at least two forms for customs. Although less paper work will now be involved, Rousseau said in real terms, it would not translate to much savings for the Customs Department.
But Customs eventually hopes it will assist with clearing some of the cargo backlog in its warehouses.
Still to be determined is how it affects the speed at which goods are cleared.
Customs brokers meanwhile have taken the change in stride.
"I have not heard anyone complaining," said Wignal.