The Cayman Islands Customs office is drowning. Not in water, but in mountains and mountains of paperwork.
Because of this, the department is undertaking an ambitious modernization effort starting in November 2017. The three-year plan is being deemed as aspiring and features a new online traders portal that will permitshippers to submit their customs declarations electronically rather than via than the official forms process currently in place.
Customs officials report that when the new system is in place there will no longer be long waits (usually extending into hours) in the Customs office while shipments are processed and cleared.The new system will give importers the ability to submit customs declarations of goods via an electronic platform from home or their ownoffices. Additionally, the electronic declarationplatformwill enable the Customs department to rid itself of the current system’s mountains of paperwork generation.
They report that currently the filing systems that are over capacity and that space to house all the documents is running out. The goal is to go completely paperless with this new rollout and to hopefully free up employees to focus more on the core competencies of their jobs.
The modernization and addition of updated technology is long over due at Cayman Islands Customs.When the new systems are installed officials there will be able to take a much more active role in compliance management, the inspections process and be able to delve deeper into intelligence management tasks. Less data entry duties for the limited staff, they say, will enable them to do more customs, enforce compliance more efficiently, perform more comprehensive border security and overall increase the enforcement efforts. Importers have apparentlybeen responding well to the changes, surely happy about decreased wait times and delays.
There are more benefits than merely the probability of a more efficient and effectual Cayman Islands Customs Service. Officials at the department have remarked that that the new advanced system is completely owned, operated and managed by the staff at the Customs department. They own and control it and can make changes to it as they see fit. This will result in greater efficiency for the staff and customers – creating a dual fold advantage. The initial phase of this projected three-year modernization effort will deal predominantly with the cargo collection functions of the service. Specifically, those ops located at the Cayman Islands Customs headquarters.The additional phases of implementing the new plan will create needed functionality for the parcel post, in-bond and courier units. Some examples of these include mobilization, Cayman Islands border security efforts and support for the operations at the Owen Roberts International Airport. In an effort to get off on the right foot, the Customs officials are encouraging importers and traders to pre-register themselves to streamline the process.
John has been working as an agent with ERA Cayman Islands for 8+ years specialising in high-end real estate, hospitality and property management. Formerly of Vail, Colorado; John has set down his roots in Grand Cayman. John holds a degree in business law from the University of Saint Thomas.