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Government orders review of 23-year-old returning residents policy

Published:Thursday | August 4, 2016 | 8:07 PM
Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reese told journalists at a press conference this morning that the decision was made following a meeting yesterday between the ministries and departments involved with returning residents.

The Government has ordered a review of its 1993 policy on returning residents, but Jamaicans coming back home to live will have to wait longer for favourable changes to customs regulations governing their imports.

Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reese told journalists at a press conference this morning that the decision was made following a meeting yesterday between the ministries and departments involved with returning residents.

Major Richard Reese said the government is treating the issue as a priority and noted that the review is to be completed in 14 days.

He noted that the issues being looked at include the eligibility criteria for a person to be designated a returned resident and his associated entitlements.

According to Major Reese, the finance ministry is expected to submit the review report to the portfolio minister Audley Shaw.

He admitted that the process needs to be more efficient and simpler, but said the review process, which could involve legislative changes, first has to take place.

The Jamaica Association for the Resettlement of Returning Residents has complained that the customs procedures for Jamaicans returning home are onerous.

The customs boss has insisted that the current policies and regulations remain in place until any changes.