Focus: Online Public Forum on Incentives and Productive Inputs Relief
Theme: Incentives and Productive Inputs Relief - Who Stands to Benefit?
The Jamaica Customs Agency will, on Thursday, October 14, 2021, host its 'Triple C' Series - 'Click, Connect and Converse with Customs,' with focus on Incentives and Productive Inputs Relief (PIR). Key emphasis for this forum, will be on primary producers and manufacturers, particularly micro and medium-sized enterprises. The forum is slated to begin at 10:00 a.m. and last up to midday.
The forum will seek to demystify and clarify any misunderstanding about who can benefit from incentives and PIR. Therefore, the main presentation will include legislation governing incentives and PIR, the criteria/requirements to benefit, the application process and procedures, categories of beneficiaries, types of incentives available, etc. As is customary, the forum will include staff, external stakeholders - local and overseas, and private and public sector entities.
The registration for this forum will be done by way of the JCA's website and as such I am soliciting your help to establish the registration portal to facilitate same this Thursday. For the most part, except for the topic and theme, all other fields remain the same. Please see the following verbiage and guide for your perusal. I will also ask Mr. Williams to establish and provide you with the link for the portal before hand.
'Jamaica Customs - Keeping Our Customers in Focus'
The Jamaica Customs Agency has embarked on the second phase of its Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Programme with the recent launch of the exporter component of the programme.
The AEO Programme is a supply chain security programme that deals with implementing security measures along the supply chain in international trade, with a focus on containerised shipments in particular. The programme is for everyone within the supply chain including importers, exporters, warehouse keepers and brokers.
Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Manager of the AEO Unit at the Jamaica Customs Agency, Ms. Karen Wilson, explained that the agency has been operating the AEO Importer programme since 2014.
Under that programme, prospective members are required to import a minimum of six full containers per annum and implement the AEO security requirements as part of their organisational protocols and processes.
The new Exporter Programme has a number of requirements, such as export of Full Container Loads (FCL) – at least one per annum, be a registered business with the Government of Jamaica and actively trading for at least three years, completion of all AEO security requirements, compliance with revenue payments and legal obligations of the various government agencies and they must sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the JCA.
A pilot programme took place in April followed by sensitisation of the main stakeholders in May.
“What we have done is add those importers who are currently on the Importer Programme, who also export and have expressed an interest to be a part of the programme,” Ms. Wilson stated.
“We have had those exporters added to ASYCUDA as AEO Exporters. They would continue to receive expedited service from both sides, both the importer and the exporter side of things in relation to the processing of their documentation,” she added.
The AEO Manager pointed to the Jamaica Single Window for Trade (JSWIFT) portal which includes the processing of all declarations and requirements from the trade regulators (import and export) in one central portal.
“With this portal, it is like a virtual one-stop shop, everything is going to be processed through JSWIFT. There will be continued examinations of exporters when the goods are leaving the country, just to ensure that no compromise occurred, but is going to be less intrusive” Ms. Wilson explained.
The AEO Unit Manager explained that companies will be receiving a certification which is internationally recognised by all member countries of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) that have implemented the AEO programme.
“This certification allows for exposure to new markets because we find that with things occurring in terms of security throughout the supply chain, companies are now specifically seeking out other companies that are implementing security measures along their supply chain so they tend to be shifting to do more business with companies that are AEO Certified,” Ms. Wilson explained.
Future benefits of the Exporter Programme include Mutual Recognition Agreements with other countries, which will facilitate seamless movement of goods across third party country borders.
The steps in the application approval process are: risk assessment of applicant; interview and validation of security requirements; recommendations for approval or denial of application; signing of MOU and awarding of certificate.
Please be advised that due to Tropical Storm Grace, the Jamaica Customs Agency will be closed for regular business at its head and corporate offices in Kingston at 1:00pm today - Tuesday, August 17, 2021. Sea Port operations have also been impacted. We encourage you to undertake your transactions online. Regular business operations is expected to resume this Wednesday. The JCA will continue to provide updates, as required. Do stay safe as we continue to keep you...in focus.
Source: Jamaica Observer
KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) has introduced a track and trace service to facilitate transparency for traders and their representatives in handling customs declarations.
Chief Information Officer André Williams explained that the feature will allow the trader or their representative, in this instance a customs broker, to enter details specific to the declarations and be provided with the current status for processing.
“We process a number of declarations on a daily basis and there is a need for greater visibility regarding submission and letting traders know exactly where their document is in the process, all the way through to releasing of the cargo,” he said.
Williams pointed out that the trader or the importer would also be interested in knowing the turnaround time and, in the event that there are any issues, what point in the process these arise.
The customs broker will also be able to view the remarks from the Inspection Act, when a declaration has been routed to query by customs.
“This is one of our trade facilitation-related initiatives which would improve visibility and provide the traders with real-time information,” he said.
“Track and trace is a portal where the trader or his representative will enter a minimum amount of information pertaining to a declaration. For example, the office code, the year, their internal reference code and the taxpayer registration number for the broker or the importer,” he further explained.
After this submission, Williams said that the system will respond with all of the points of intervention for which the shipment would be flagged.
He said it is also important to note that within the customs system, the other regulatory authorities are also carrying out their inspection functions, so if there is a need for another regulatory authority to have an intervention, such as documentary review or for inspection of the shipment, that will also be shown or displayed to the trader or the importer or the declarant.
The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) remains committed to executing its mandate of trade facilitation, equitable revenue collection and border protection, notwithstanding the challenges of Covid-19.
To this end, the Agency continues to serve its various stakeholders, thereby ensuring that the economy of Jamaica is sustained, and that supplies required to aid in the fight against Covid-19 are made available, as well as all other goods, for use in the various sectors, including manufacturing.
Adherence to Established Public Health Protocols
The JCA has implemented several measures directly aimed at preventing and containing the spread of Covid-19. These measures are in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Wellness and by extension, the World Health Organisation (WHO). The Agency is also guided by the various orders promulgated under the Disaster Risk Management Act.
When performing duties, including while visiting the premises of stakeholders, officers of the Agency adhere to the established guidelines regarding the wearing of masks, sanitisation, temperature checks, and social distancing.
Enhancing Our Operational Efficiency
In light of COVID-19, the Agency has also accelerated the automation of several business processes and has made adjustments in the way many of its procedures are conducted, with a view to protecting staff and stakeholders. The Agency will continue to observe and adhere to the recommendations of the public health professionals and work closely with all partners in implementing same.
Capturing of Medically-related Information
In the execution of their duties, officers of the Agency bear an official identification card, which indicates the name and capacity of the officer. Should any issues arise with respect to contact tracing or service delivery, stakeholders are encouraged to contact the Agency through the requisite channels. The Agency urges entities with which it work closely, to ensure that all procedures are in keeping with the established guidelines of the Health Ministry.
The JCA will continue to work amicably with our various stakeholders, as together, we seek to combat this virus. Let us keep our families, organisations and country safe.
Velma Ricketts Walker, J.P.
Jamaica Customs Agency