Wednesday 20 November, 2019

Delays in clearing containers at ports to end soon, Minister assures

File photo.

File photo.

Heightened security checks on containerised cargo coming into the Port of Spain and Point Lisas ports have become necessary given the proliferation of guns and Government’s current focus on border security.

However, following a review by the Customs and Excise Division, businessmen and others affected by this change in policy should see improvements over the course of July.

That’s according to Minister in the Ministry of Finance Allyson West in response to a question in the Senate from Opposition Senator Wade Mark on Tuesday regarding action to be taken on “unnecessary delays” by Customs Officers in clearing goods and equipment at two of the country’s main ports.

Acknowledging that the new system has led to some delays in the processing of containers at the ports, Minister West said the Customs and Excise Division has reviewed the focus it places on low-risk containers and amended the processing of these containers to reduce the time taken to complete this exercise.

Pressed further by Senator Mark on discussions with stakeholders affected by these delays, West noted that these persons would have registered complaints with the Comptroller of Customs which led to the review of the process.

Addressing concerns on demurrage charges accrued by businessmen as a result of the delays, the Minister indicated that Customs would treat with these matters on a case by case basis.

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