Customs work on more efficiency Print E-mail
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Thursday, 31 May 2018 00:00

In an effort to make the Belize Customs and Excise Department more efficient in their duties, representatives from the World Customs Organization have come to Belize City for a week-long workshop. These representatives have come to give advice on revisions to be made through the time release programme. During this workshop, the participants will study how long it takes for goods to be cleared once it arrives in country- this is called time release. Besides only making that observation, the goal of the Time Release Study is to determine where bottle necks are in the system and best ways to release goods in an expeditious manner.

Oluima Da Silva of World Customs Organization, commented on the Time Release Study, explaining that it is an internationally recognized tool to measure the time of the movement of cargo between borders. This study is integral in determining those problem areas that create bottle necks as well as possible solutions to them.

Estella Leslie, Deputy Comptroller, Customs, commented on the study. “This study is not only for customs, we are a part of the supply chain for goods, but we have a lot of government agencies and other people that are involved in the clearance.” That clearance determines the actual functioning and business of customs which then in turn affects the economy. Cross-border trading has seen a significant spike and as a result, it is even more important to minimize inefficiencies. According to Leslie, “Doing business with port helps us in that if we are ranked good [sic] we get a lot of foreign direct investment and this can boost our economy.  Belize ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement in 2015.  This agreement came into force in 2017.  With that Trade Facilitation Agreement there are several articles and one of the articles, Article Seven, deals with the release of goods.  Under that article, we must conduct Time Release Studies and so this is a part of our commitment to the Trade Facilitation Agreement.”