Customs Day observed

Today is being recognized as International Customs Day. Belize’s Customs and Excise Department is also joining in on the celebration of the day which is being observed under the theme “A Secure Business Environment for Economic Development”. Traditionally in Belize, going through customs is often seen as an exercise that one would rather avoid. However, the customs department is trying to reform its image of the entity that clamps down on businesses at the borders but rather as a facilitator of business and trade. Comptroller of Customs, Collin Gillett explained.

Comptroller of Customs, Collin Gillett

There is a major change within the customs administration throughout the world and while it has been in the past where the customs administration had at the front and revenue collection it has no shifted to tree and facilitation it is recognized that when you start to communicate with businesses and have consultations and you have improved compliance you get the same result as it was in the past as it relates to revenue collection so that is what it is and also it is the intention to improve the cost of doing business which would then go down for the consumers because once you reduce the cost of doing business it is the intention of the work world customs organization to reduce the cost of business truth trade facilitation by some 15% and that is what we are working on.

This change is not to say that compliance goes through the window, however, you will recall that in a few recent cases, perpetrators found breaking customs laws such as those hauling contraband items, are now allowed to settle the matter out of court.

Comptroller of Customs, Collin Gillett

This customs associations greatest message that we are preaching is compliance compliance and where there is infraction we sit with the business community and court them into how to be compliant that is for them to even recognize what is the cost in respect to you being charged and that is why it is important that the customs have in our legislation situations where we have ordered of court settlements where we can discuss with them and each and every oath of course

Griffith says that habitual offenders would most likely be taken to court.


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