Capabilities of Jamaica Customs Agency to be strengthened

FROM THE 2018/19 THRONE SPEECH.......

Saturday, February 17, 2018

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THE Jamaica Customs Agency's (JCA) capabilities will be further strengthened in 2018/19 as the Government positions the entity to continue driving economic growth through trade facilitation, revenue collection and border protection.

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen said that this year the JCA will, among other things, improve the rate of detection of contraband, and prohibited and uncustomed goods through the procurement of more cargo imaging scanners, which will be deployed more widely at the ports of entry.

He was delivering the Throne Speech under the theme 'Continuing on the Path to Prosperity', during the 2018/19 Ceremonial Opening of Parliament at Gordon House on Thursday.

Additionally, he said the JCA will intensify implementation of its Trade Facilitation Programme, further simplifying, harmonising, standardising and automating its rules and processes in order to boost trade and revenues.

He cited upgrades in technology, including the Automated System for Customs Data, to improve service delivery and reliability.

Meanwhile, the Governor-General said the Administration's priority policies will continue to be geared towards, among other things, enabling growth and national development through a sound and predictable macroeconomic policy framework that maintains low inflation, a stable exchange rate and competitive interest rates.

He said other focus areas include improving revenue administration by creating a simple, equitable and competitive tax environment to enhance growth and ensure greater compliance; strengthening the public sector's level of financial accountability and efficiency; strengthening of the Government's capacity to effectively regulate financial institutions and ministries, departments and agencies, and combat financial crimes; and improving the internal efficiency and effectiveness of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.

The governor general noted that the Administration has been steadfastly implementing the economic programme, consistent with its reform agenda.

He pointed out that the benefits of the credible economic policies are evidenced by the resulting macroeconomic stability, low inflation, strong international reserves and lower current account deficits.

“Macroeconomic stability has been supported by fiscal discipline, which has delivered the requisite primary surpluses to put public debt on a firm downward trajectory,” the governor general said.

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