The Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) continues to monitor regional and International Organization’s status reports, national policy statements and preparations to manage the Coronavirus outbreak already plaguing several countries worldwide.
Customs, Immigration, Health and Quarantine officers, Ports Authority workers, passengers, crew and all persons interacting at Ports have legitimate reasons to be concerned about their health and safety in view of the Coronavirus threat to the Caribbean Community.
Permanent Secretary of the CCLEC, Albert Sandy, in an advisory to Heads of Customs and Excise Departments on Monday, March 2nd expressed confidence in the ability of the SailClear/RCS2019 vessel processing System to assist Customs, Immigration and Port Health officers in managing the coronavirus threat to Caribbean states. The SailClear/RCS 2019 System which is already in use by Caribbean Customs administrations, from Bermuda to the ABC Islands, is a live, online administrative tool that receives, prearrival notifications from pleasure yachts and other small vessels arriving from any port in the world, intending to visit any Caribbean Port(s). That information received in advance by Customs is used to assess the vessels, crew and luggage before arrival or departure, enabling Customs, immigration or other authorities (using the Customs and health declaration) to determine how to treat the vessels and their occupants. It also serves as a facilitation tool to expedite the vessel clearance process, without the need of masters and crew presenting handwritten declarations to Customs and Immigration authorities.
This effort by CCLEC has been highlighted by Hon. Dr. Irving McIntyre, Minister of Health, Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.[i] Curacao Customs Department has also indicated that they will be utilizing the RCS System to help manage the Coronavirus threat posed by the yachting tourism sector. Eighteen new kiosks have been supplied during February 2020, to Caribbean Customs Departments for deployment at ports of entry. These kiosks, financed by the UK Border Force, will be utilized by yachts’ masters to report electronically to Customs utilizing the SailClear system.
Vessel health declarations required by law, are incorporated in the SailClear/RCS2019 electronic declaration system and can be used to indicate any health problems onboard before vessels arrive at any regional port. Vessels and passengers or crew showing symptoms of the coronavirus can report by nationally approved means, including via the SailClear/RCS 2019 system and the authorities will provide the appropriate assistance even before these vessels arrive at Port.
The Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council continues to support its members which include all Customs administrations of the entire Caribbean basin, in the exercise of vigilance at all ports of entry to minimize the effects of this virus on the economies and health of our citizens and visitors. We encourage all to follow the directions of your national emergency coordination authorities, provide all needed equipment, facilities and information required by border security officers for personal and client protection, and the full use of the RCS System to enable prearrival reporting by the yachting public so as to manage this viral threat.
FOLLOW ONLY OFFICIAL BULLETINS THROUGH YOUR LINE OF COMMAND.
Albert V. Sandy
[i] https://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/news/live-coverage-of-nepo-meeting-today-on-coronavirus/ minute 38.57 of the recording