July 26, 2021

New Cayman Islands Customs process will ease imports

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Customs will roll out a new online process beginning 1 November 2017 to make it easier for importers to clear goods electronically.

“This will be the first phase of the business modernisation and refining process that Customs will embark on over the next three years. This initiative is aimed at delivering excellent customer service and more efficient trade facilitation for importers in the Cayman Islands,” Collector of Customs, Mr. Charles Clifford said.

The Collector added: “Very early in this process we engaged stakeholders, public and private, and I am pleased to report that there is very good support for this initiative which has been designed to expedite the clearance of imported goods while maintaining effective strategies to identify high risk imports.”
Deputy Collector of Customs, Mr. Kevin Walton explained that the Customs Department is currently undergoing modernisation and reform of its business processes, laws, policies and IT systems. This change is being implemented in five phases, with phase one slated for launch on 1 November 2017.

The first phase will include an online trader portal which will act as a platform for the electronic submission of Customs declaration, he said.

“The final aim is for Customs to transition to a paperless environment that will allow users to submit their importation declarations and do business via electronic means,” Mr. Walton emphasised. “Using technology will eliminate the need for importers to submit paperwork or attend in person at our counters, saving them time, money and paper as well.”

The new process has been undergoing testing for several months while staff have been receiving training and are ready for the roll-out of phase one. Using technology will comprehensively expand and streamline the business the department conducts. To complement this process, it is intended to amend the Customs Law and Customs Tariff Law during the modernisation process.

As part of the new initiative, persons will be able to submit entry declarations and other requirements remotely. Consequently, the time it takes for authorities to process documents will be shortened dramatically, Mr. Walton said.

The new process will be available to traders who have registered with Customs. To enable them to make the most of the change, Customs is conducting training for traders from Monday, 19 September to Friday, 29 September 2017.

“After that, training in the use of our online portal will continue in-house for medium to small-scale traders, and especially individuals who import goods via sea or air. Also, using a selected group of traders, we will be conducting testing of the new system before it is launched,” he added.
Collector of Customs Charles Clifford noted: “As with any change process, there will be some initial teething problems as our staff and our Customers get used to the changed environment. We ask our customers for their patience as we seek to modernise our processes to serve you better.”

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