Categorized | National News

Bahamians Urged to Register for Click2Clear

The Ministry of Finance and Bahamas Customs on Wednesday held another press conference reminding the public of the implementation of Click2Clear on September 1.

The portal has already been implemented in phases and the next phase is for businesses to register to collect any items from the New Providence seaport as of September 1, 2019. After September 30, individuals will be unable to receive their goods.

Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson pointed out that Click2Clear is a part of the Ministry of Finance and the government has mandated that Bahamians do better at compliance in tax collection.  

“As goods are entered into the system, there are artificial intelligence built into the system that will allow us to track trends automatically. So we can see when there are invoices that seem anomalous and we can see when there are trends from specific vendors or among a group of vendors,” Mr. Johnson said. 

The system also is used to collect data to inform on shopper policies and how certain sectors are performing in the economy.

Since August 2018, nearly 65,600 orders have already been processed by customs through Click2Clear by air cargo operations in New Providence. 

Mr. Johnson admitted that there is some unease for brokers with Click2Clear.

“Many of them are experts in the paper based broker system, has since been the case since forever and so many of them are finding having to retool themselves in this new environment,” Mr. Johnson explained. 

Spokesperson for the Bahamas Customs Superintendent Tyrone Sands said the new portal will allow an even playing field for importers, allow them to move towards a cashless system and reduce leakage of duty revenue collection. Moreover, it makes customs more transparent, effective and accountable.  

Throughout the year, the Ministry of Finance has been working with business stakeholders, who are primary exporters to make sure they are ready once the portal is implemented. 

One of the features of the automated system is that it will give Bahamians a platform to encourage greater compliance simply because it will be a challenge to move items around without them being detected.  

Bahamas Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Beckles noted that the private sector is “extremely pleased” with the progress. 

“We know that not all of our businesses are honest, to be frank with, and the fact of the matter is when  that happens those of us who are have to pay that price now that we have a system that will hold of us equally accountable. We believe that that will have a tremendous impact on the way we do business going forward,” Mr. Beckles said.   

As mentioned in a press conference earlier this month, anyone who imports and exports, whether a resident or not, must register online.  These include individuals who shop online, send or receive documents internationally or use broker or freight forwarder to import goods.

Online payments are expected to begin in October, along with other aspects next year, including the business trade portal and the pleasure vessel clearance portal, which is an online module for pleasure vessels to clear customs and apply for mandatory cruising and fishing permits.

Registration can be done online and instructions are on the website that shows the steps. There is a hotline for people to call for help that is also listed on the website. Residents will need a National Insurance Board Smart Card to register.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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