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New Customs COVID-19 Operations To Shorten Clearing Process

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By Kevon Browne

St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): New procedures introduced Monday (December 7) by the Customs and Excise Department aim to complete clearing transactions for cargo operations in close to 20 minutes.

Communications and PR Officer for the Customs and Excise Department Kishma Griffin, on the WINN program ‘Customs Corner’

Griffin explained that limited interaction with staffers and customers are expected to result from the changes.

A few customers upon learning of the new procedures expressed concern that they would not be physically present during the inspection process. Ms. Griffin assured that the Customs Officer would not be alone and that he/she would be accompanied by a representative of the Port Authority and the agent who will be acting on the customer’s behalf during the inspection of goods.

Griffin said that groups of people and children are not allowed on the compound.

The Public Relations Officer also indicated that in the coming days, a Hotline (three-digit code) will be up and running to provide the necessary information concerning the new protocols as well as informing people of when they would be able to pick up their goods.

Please see the full procedure below:

1. All non-commercial Less than a Container Load (LCL) cargo will be examined and processed by Customs in the presence of the Shipping Agents or their representative(s) and SCASPA Officer(s).

2. All non-commercial LCL cargo will be assessed for duty and taxes by Customs Officer and this information will be provided to the Shipping Agents or their representative(s) and SCASPA. The information will also be available to customers via SCASPA’s website.

3. All persons entering the facility must be wearing a mask and will be subjected to temperature checks

4. Please note that persons with a temperature reading of 104 degrees and above will not be allowed entry into the Port facility. In the event of such, the Customs and Excise Department will contact the Ministry of Health for further instructions.

5. Customers entering the facility to clear cargo must enter the queue, maintain their physical distance requirement of at least 3 feet and sanitize their hands upon entry. Customers will be asked to provide their name and contact information for contact tracing along with a Government Issued Identification.

6. Persons who do not comply with the above will not be granted access to the Port facility.

7. Customers will be asked to provide their document from the Agent including waybill, freight receipt etc. If the cargo is not available, the customer will not be permitted to stay in the vicinity.

8. Customers will be allowed into the facility based on a ticketing system. Only ten (10) customers at any time will be allowed in the warehouse customer waiting area.

9. Cargo would have already been assessed for duty and taxes (if applicable). Upon entry to the warehouse customer waiting area, they will proceed to the Customs cashier then the Port Authority cashier to make payment.

10. Customers will be issued a gate pass. They will then collect and load their cargo into the vehicle and exit the facility.

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