As announced previously, today (Wednesday, 1 November 2017) the Customs Department launched Phase 1 of its project to transition from its legacy IT Platforms to its enhanced IT Platforms.
Collector of Customs Charles Clifford said, “The transition will ultimately see the phasing out of the Customs Department’s legacy IT Platforms in favor of enhanced IT Platforms which are designed to ultimately deliver effective trade facilitation and exceptional customer service while maintaining effective border control protocols.”
Deputy Collector of Customs Kevin Walton, who has responsibility for the Customs Department’s Revenue Collection Portfolio, said, “Because this is a transition, those traders who may not be ready to use the new IT Platform which is being launched in Phase 1 today will have available to them our legacy IT Platforms which will remain live and available in order to facilitate a smooth transition within a reasonable period of time before the old systems are taken offline at the end of this year”
Collector Clifford advised that customers must come in to register on the new system in order to take advantage of it advances. Registration is necessary for compliance purposes. However, it is a one time registration and once you are registered on the new system you will be able to enter your declaration online from the comfort of your home or office. You will then receive an email from the Customs Department confirming receipt and advising that your declaration will be processed within 2 hours. Once your declaration is processed, you will receive a further email advising that your goods have been released and that you should come in to pay the duties and collect your goods or alternatively that your goods have been selected for inspection and you must come in to witness the inspection.
The new IT Platform in Phase 1 is in effect a virtual drop off system and therefore the Customs Department’s existing paper drop off system has been discontinued.
Collector Clifford said that further enhancements will be made to the new IT Platforms in subsequent phases and these will include the ability to pay your import duties and associated fees online. He said “We are ultimately heading toward a paperless environment at Customs.”
Deputy Collector Walton asked the public for patience during this transition. He said “challenges and glitches are common features of any change process but let us keep our eyes on the end result which will be effective trade facilitation and exceptional customer service.”
Mr. Clifford praised his officers for their dedication and willingness to step up to the challenge for this transition. He said “they have taken on these additional responsibilities while focusing on their primary day to day duties of revenue collection and border protection. We have exceeded our revenue projections by $10M and $12M respectively in the past two financial years and have made some very notable arrests for drugs, firearms and other contraband.”
The Collector also thanked the Government’s Computer Services Department and their developers for their partnership on this project. He noted “they have worked hard and we sincerely thank them for their efforts. We own and control this new system and will be able to very quickly fix any glitches that may arise and update the system from time to time to meet our customers requirements”
Source: Cayman Islands Government