Jamaica Customs promotes risk-based approach to protect borders

Jamaica Customs promotes risk-based approach to protect borders

Customs House Weekly

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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As the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) continues its thrust to improve its overall efficiency, the entity continues to boost its capacity to identify and combat risks that can serve to undermine its border protection capabilities and the country's overall security.

• What is risk management?

• What are the benefits of using a risk-based approach?

• How does it impact border protection?

• How does it foster compliance?

The success of customs administrations worldwide depends on an effective risk management systems.

The Risk Management Unit of the JCA is responsible for implementing risk management plans and processes, which involves gathering and collating information; identifying, analysing and reporting areas of risk; developing targets and profiles; establishing and maintaining a risk management database; and monitoring the application of risk management remedies across the agency.


The risk-based approach adopted by the JCA emphasises that border protection has to remain a priority while facilitating the legitimate movement of cargo and passengers.

The risk-based approach is primarily data-driven, as data analysis, is critical to the risk management process. The purpose of risk analysis is to separate low risks from high risks, and to provide data to assist in the assessment and treatment of the risks identified.


The JCA emphasises risk management as a focal point of its operations and has formulated an Agency Risk Management Policy (2014) in order to ensure that practices are aligned with the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) and other international benchmark guidelines, such as the World Customs Organisation's (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards and the Revised Arusha Declaration.

The JCA's Risk Management Policy (2014) involves the following:

• Application of risk management techniques which will strengthen the resilience of the organisation and ensure integrity and ethical standards are upheld. It allows the agency to use risk-based information to make strategic and proactive decisions,

• Implementation of a structure that supports risk management and which ensures that employees have a clear understanding of the nature of the risks in their areas, and are able to systematically identify, analyse, prioritise and develop treatment programmes to mitigate those risks,

• Provision of suitable and timely training for staf,.

• Adoption of the latest Customs technologies, automation of key Customs processes, and increased reliance on effective post-clearance audit techniques,

• Use of non-intrusive examination techniques, such as cargo imaging (screening) and the use of profiling of high-risk cargo and passengers. Another mechanism is the application of a uniformed approach to risk management, such as the Risk Register Template.

• Fostering compliance, through simplification and automation of processes, using the revamped Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme and the implementation of the Customs Automated System, allowing for greater predictability and faster processing of cargo.

Additionally, the agency continues to be proactive in seeking to reduce and eliminate illegal activities that threaten the economic stability and safety of our people, including detecting and seizing counterfeit goods.

The JCA wishes to reassure our stakeholders that the agency remains committed to securing Jamaica's ports and keeping our people, society and economy safe from illegal imports and trading activities.

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