COMMISSIONER OF Customs Major Richard Reese has said there is to be a review of the Customs Act to strengthen enforcement measures.
Speaking with The Gleaner on Tuesday, Major Reese noted that his department was preparing its findings.
"We have completed our internal review. We're just looking at some of the penalties and some of the recommendations, then we'll submit it to the Ministry of Finance for their review." He said the review dealt mostly with areas of under-invoicing and forfeiture and said the penalties were not in keeping with international standards.
"These penalties have not been increased for a number of years and need to be brought in line with the current realities. And it will serve as a deterrent."
Major Reese, who was guest speaker at the Kiwanis Club of Kingston's meeting, also said the Customs Department would be undertaking a public education campaign to inform importers of custom procedures, requirements and penalties. He said the campaign is part of its compliance strategies.
Major Reese said the education programme is already under way.
"We have acquired some flat-screen monitors, so we will be using those to broadcast info to the various ports, whether air or sea, to inform persons," he said. Major Reese also noted that posters had been prepared and the department's website had been updated.
"We also need to engage the diaspora, because they need current and accurate information."