Tuesday 29 September, 2020

Imbert meets with stakeholders on 'new' Customs regulations

Finance Minister Colm Imbert has met with stakeholders as he seeks an amicable resolution to the clearing of Express Release Consignments.

The intervention comes as businesses complained of delays in clearing items as a result of the implementation of the “new” regulations from the Customs and Excise Division.

At a meeting on Wednesday chaired by the Finance Minister, a number of suggestions were put forward, from legislative to the procedural.

Suggested solutions included the industry-wide adoption of advance electronic manifest forms containing sufficient detail to facilitate Customs oversight, a legal amendment lowering the value threshold under which import declarations would be required, and an overall review of the requirement for import declarations.

The meeting of representatives of the Customs and Excise Division at the Ministry of Finance was attended by representatives from a number of courier companies and multiple business associations, including the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association, the T&T Manufacturers' Association, the American Chamber of Commerce of T&T (AMCHAM T&T) and the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Imbert expressed his commitment to finding an outcome that would allow courier companies to serve their clients effectively while also permitting the Customs and Excise Division to fulfill their mandate of preventing revenue leakage and illegal importation.

An update is expected by Friday on the way forward, pending receipt of the necessary legal advice and confirmation of stakeholder consensus on the agreed-upon suggestions.

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