Wed | Sep 20, 2017

SAJ hosts CEO/Commissioner of Customs at industry forum

Published:Tuesday | January 26, 2016 | 1:00 AM
CEO and Commissioner of Customs Major (Ret'd) Richard Reese addresses members of the shipping industry at the Shipping Association of Jamaica's recent forum.
Teams from the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ), the SOGET/Port Authority of Jamaica PCS consultancy join Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reese and his specialists after an industry forum recently hosted by the SAJ. From left: Janice Budd, SAJ communications manager; French-based Port Community System provider SOGET team members - Jacques Touboul, business process analyst; Myriam Blondet, project manager assistant; and Sabine Bajazet, Caribbean Community expert; Major Richard Reese, commissioner of Customs; Shornalee Jackson, data analyst, Jamaica Customs Agency; Dwain Powell, port community systems project manager, Port Authority of Jamaica; Benoit Basset, SOGET project manager; Jean-Eduard Nicolet, SOGET change-management expert; André Williams, chief information officer, Jamaica Customs Agency. Back row: Laurent Philbert, SOGET business process analyst.
Among those in the packed room listening intently to the Customs head was the executive management team from CMA CGM, which operates the Kingston Freeport Terminal Ltd (formerly KCT). Front row, from left: Conroy Whittick, Carolyn (Trudy) Binns, Michel Azrak, and C. Leopold Nesbeth. Also in this row is Erol Smith of Lasocean agencies.
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Members of the shipping and logistics industry in Jamaica packed themselves into the conference room at the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) at its Newport Boulevard offices recently to hear from the head of the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) on recent changes to its systems affecting their businesses.

CEO and Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reese addressed the audience on the ongoing implementation of the ASYCUDA World Project and ISO 9001:2015 during a special Lunch and Learn industry forum hosted by the SAJ.

The ASYCUDA World Project implementation is being carried out in line with the Government's strategy to improve trade facilitation and service delivery in Customs in tandem with international best practices. ASYCUDA, which is a web-based system, is part of benchmarks established by the International Monetary Fund for Jamaica's Economic Recovery Programme. The phased implementation of the project forms part of the public-sector transformation and modernisation initiative.

Reese sought to assure the industry that Customs was doing its best to work through the hiccups that have accompanied the implementation of ASYCUDA, which has caused some concern among stakeholders.

The system, which allows clients to undertake e-transactions (submit manifests, goods declarations, payments, and process documents) is still in the pilot phase.

Reese also spoke to the JCA's other efforts to become more customer-service oriented through the implementation of ISO 9001:2015 standards. This, he said, is intended to further promote risk-based thinking within the JCA, reduce errors and corrupt practices, result in the re-engineering of core business processes towards customer satisfaction, improve document management and records control, and improve the organisational culture.