by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The St. Kitts & Nevis Customs and Excise Department is promoting training as a means of rebranding the department and improving customer service to the business community and consumers.
In recent years negative experiences with the Customs Department have been shared publicly on social media. These interactions have negative impacts locally and internationally. The Department has undertaken new training methods aimed at reducing instances of frustration while displaying best standards of professionalism.
Making a presentation on WINN FM on Thursday, 26 January 2023, Customs Officer responsible for training Mr. Osbert Francis, said that the training and retraining of every customs officer, seeks not only to ensure that each officer is a proficient and efficient border management practitioner but also a professional one.
Francis stated “When an importer comes to interact with the Customs Department, they should come feeling happy and leave feeling even happier, even though they have paid “x” amount of money; and we are looking to improve said interactions. Customer Service is one thing, interacting with the individuals and the traders is also a key component to the said strategy. We have been trained and we are inviting and increasing training in conflict resolution.”
Another Customs Officer-Kishma Griffin encouraged individuals to access the duty calculator to get an idea of their charges before going to clear goods.
Griffin informed “We have our duty calculator and that’s located on our website www.skncustoms.com and it’s a beautiful tool. It gives you the ability to plug in all of your information so that you can get an idea of what your taxes are going to be when your goods have landed. So I’m encouraging the public to navigate through the website, you will see it right there. It’s on the front page. You have to scroll down, you will see the duty calculator. It will ask you for all the information, put it in, put in your cost and everything and it actually calculates and gives you a really good idea; so that you are not caught off guard when your items get here.”
The St.Kitts and Nevis Customs & Excise Department joined other Departments worldwide to observe International Customs Day 2023 on Thursday, January 26. The day is celebrated to spread awareness about the role of Customs authorities in the trading of goods and cross-border regulatory activities.
International Customs Day 2023 was celebrated under the theme ‘Nurturing the next generation: Promoting a culture of knowledge- sharing and professional pride in Customs.’