Customs intake jumps by $27 billion
For the fiscal year 2016-2017 the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) collected a whopping $188.5 billion in net revenue, an increase of $27.4 billion or 17 per cent on year, Commissioner of Customs Velma Ricketts Walker disclosed yesterday.
Ricketts Walker told the annual general meeting of the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association that about 93,000 declarations were processed in the Customs Automated System over this period. In addition, the number of domestic containers landed was 97,974, with 78,937 of them examined and dispatched.
"You have contributed to this effort," she told the brokers gathered at the Hotel Four Seasons in St Andrew.
With some 250 renewed licensed customs brokers on record as at March 31, 2016, more than 4,000 commercial importers interface with the Jamaica Customs Agency each year and rely on the services of a licensed customs broker to help in clearing their shipments.
For this reason, customs brokering plays an integral role in the country's growth and development, Ricketts Walker told her audience as she called for industry stakeholders to maintain a high level of professionalism.
"You perform a fundamental role and are an integral link in the trade, logistics and supply chain. You are the chief liaisons, representing traders and ensuring the requisite regulations, standards and procedures are met and followed. So while you support traders by providing all necessary documentation and undertaking formalities related to cargo clearance, you are also expected to maintain government interests by ensuring compliance with Customs and other regulatory requirements and, of course, the collection of appropriate duties and taxes," she said.