Categorized | Featured, National News

Plans to Modernize Customs Department

Financial Secretary, Mr. Simon Wilson

Journal Staff Writer

The Customs Department is expected to undergo extensive modernization following a
commitment from the Ministry of Finance.
Financial secretary Simon Wilson highlighted the numerous plans in the pipeline.
“In addition, we want to introduce what we call financial analysts or tax analysts to support the
work of the customs officers especially, in the Family Islands where customs officers now
perform non-revenue related duties, administration duties with a lack of support,” Mr. Wilson
said during a recruit induction.
“Plus, we have a plan to upgrade the physical infrastructure of the Customs Department and all
their buildings throughout the land of The Bahamas. We started first with the canine unit, the
upgraded canine unit, and hopefully soon, we will start renovation of this building, which is the
headquarters of the Customs Department.
“These are significant investments because we understand the importance of customs with
revenue collection.”
There have also been special units added to the department to improve revenue enhancement and
“We have a unit in the Ministry of Finance, a national targeting center in the Ministry of Finance,
which will have customs officers always a part of that function. We have a unit, a revenue
management unit with customs, which is also a special unit. This deals with revenue
investigation, high revenue matters. That’s in place now and that’s stationed on Carmichael Road
in Courtesy House,” the financial secretary added.
“Then we also have a large taxpayer unit where customer officers will be dedicated to service
our largest taxpayers. That unit has just started. All these things are to enhance the ability of the
department to collect revenue.
“So, it’s not just the ranking of, how should I put it, the standard operating procedure. We are
evolving and changing.”
Existing units such as the K-9 Unit will also be beefed up to do more in terms as drug
interdiction, currency smuggling and goods smuggling. There are also plans to modernize the
Click to Clear platform and the exempt app.
“The two applications that customers use, Click to Clear is the application for declarations, and
you’ll hear more from the IT folks and so forth. During the training course, we also have

EXEMPT, which is an app, so when you come through the airport, or through the seaport, and so
forth,” Mr. Wilson said.
“You can actually send your declaration. We’ll be doing more of that in automating the services
of the department. This is a tremendous change from the past where it was largely a manual
process. This is becoming a more and more automated process.”
The Marine Unit will also be brought back into function because Mr. Wilson said it is important
that customs officers are visible at all ports of entry in the archipelago.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook