Jamaica is open for business

Commissioner of Customs Velma Ricketts-Walker.

Commissioner of Customs Velma Ricketts-Walker is assuring customers in the local and international trading community that Jamaica is still open for business, despite the advent of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Business continues and we are putting every single apparatus and measure in place to ensure that this is happening,” she said, while addressing a recent online forum.

Ricketts-Walker stressed that productivity and economic activities, including manufacturing, distribution, importation and exportation, continue.

She noted that as measures are put in place for business continuity, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), along with stakeholders in the public and private sectors, will continue to do everything to ensure that health and safety protocols are put in place to keep customers safe.

“Collectively, we stand resolute in supporting the Government of Jamaica in the fight against the pandemic,” she asserted.

Among the measures implemented to ensure business continuity, while adhering to the government’s policy regarding social distancing and other safeguards, is the use of telecommuting and teleworking policies to ensure that staff are adequately available to the various areas, remotely.

‘Our Customs automated system… remains robust and facilitated the online submission of declarations.’

Commissioner of Custom Velma Ricketts-Walker

“Our Customs automated system… remains robust and facilitated the online submission of declarations. To date, we know that 90 per cent of all our documentary transactions come through the system. It allows for customs brokers and any other entity to use the system from anywhere in the world. It allows for border regulatory entities to integrate and utilise, so it promotes remote working, which helps with the continuity of business,” she said. The system is also zero-rated, which means users have toll-free access.