A series of procedures aimed at reducing the time it takes to clear goods from the Customs Division will soon be published by the Ministry of Finance.
These procedures, which will be published on the Dominica Government’s website, are necessary to better inform the general public of measures implemented to facilitate the conduct of business.
This announcement, made by Finance Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit is as a result of “grave concern” expressed by the private sector that the ASYCUDA WORLD computer software which was introduced in 2009 to increase efficiency in processing imports at the Customs Division is not being put to optimal use.
Mr. Skerrit informed Parliament on Wednesday 25 July 2018 that the Customs Division was required to update the risk profiles of private sector firms with a view to reducing the number of companies whose imports must be assessed before release and the expansion of the use of the prepayment system.
“The Customs Division has been directed to allow low risk importers to be channeled to the green lane effective September 1, 2018,” Mr. Skerrit said.
“In addition, twenty-one (21) deserving companies will have 80% of their declarations channeled through the Green Lane,” he added.
These companies will be informed directly by the Customs and the assessments will continue with a view to increasing the number of companies that can go through the Green Lane.
Mr. Skerrit noted that a prepayment system which has been in place at the Customs since 1st December 2011 provides importers with an alternative payment option on the ASYCUDA World system.
This feature allows the account holder the privilege of paying Customs declarations online thus reducing overall transaction times.
“The account holder will no longer need to appear physically to the customs cashiers to execute revenue payments,” Mr. Skerrit informed.
Individuals, Companies, Sole Traders, Brokers and other interested persons who are registered and holders of an ASYCUDA user name and password and are desirous of establishing a prepayment account are required to officially fill in a prepayment account application form and submit to the Comptroller of Customs for approval.
“Successful applicants will be notified within ten working days on receipt of the application and will be informed of the general terms and conditions of establishing a prepayment account,” he added.
Account holders will be issued with a pre-payment account number and a required PIN number (secret code) to be associated with their account. All prepayment accounts must have a minimum limit of two thousand, five hundred Eastern Caribbean dollars (EC$2,500).
“Madam Speaker, I trust that traders and importers will make use of this facility,” Mr. Skerrit said.