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HM Customs Complaints Handling Policy

Management at HM Customs believe that there are many benefits to having a clear and straightforward complaint handling process, which aims to:-

  • Ensure that we provide the level of service deserved by our customers
  • Allow us to learn from our mistakes and improve operations
  • Complaints will be acknowledged within 5 days working of receipt.
  • The result of our investigation will be communicated along with any appropriate offer of redress within 4 weeks of receipt the complaint.
  • An overall time limit of 8 weeks from receipt of the complaint to the issuance

This document summarises our approach to complaints handling and is designed to give an outline of the process involved. The purpose of this policy is to provide a confidential means for individuals to report complaints.

Definition of a Complaint

Whilst we acknowledge that any situation which prompts a customer to contact us to express dissatisfaction is important, for the purpose this document we define a complaint as such where it includes or more of the following:

  • Breach of Rules under the Customs Law 1990 Revision 2007
  • Failure to comply with any legal obligation
  • Negligence leading to material loss, inconvenience or distress

A complaint involving the above will be handled in accordance with our internal complaints handling procedures which govern the acknowledgement, investigation and response to complaints. This document is designed to provide a high level overview of those procedures.

Complaints should be addressed to:

Deputy Collector of Customs
42 Owen Roberts Drive
PO Box 898 Grand Cayman, KY1-1103
Cayman Islands
Email: CustomsComplaints@gov.ky
Telephone: 1 (345) 949 4579
Fax: 1 (345) 945 1573

Complaints Handling Procedures

Our Complaints Handling Procedures detail the stages through which a complaint will pass and lays down the turnaround standards that we work to. We will try our best to ensure that complaints resolved within 8 weeks of receipt and where this is not possible we must provide a reason and estimated completion date. Complaints which are not resolved within the 8 week timeframe or which are not resolved to the satisfaction of the customer could be eligible for consideration by the Office of the Complaints Commissioner (OCC) and we are obliged to provide full details as part of our procedure.

The following provides an outline of how complaints will be handled:

  • Acknowledgement – The Administrative Secretary will provide written acknowledgement of complaints communicated to us by telephone, electronic mail or in written form within 5 days of receipt. The acknowledgement letter will contain details of our complaints policy and will be dispatched to the author of the complaint within 5 working days of receipt of the complaint
  • Report Letter – This will provide full details of our investigation into the complaint together with the nature and terms of any offer to be made in satisfaction of the complaint. The letter will aim to provide a satisfactory outcome but if there are further queries or the offer of redress is not satisfactory then the matter should be referred back to the author. This letter will normally be sent within 4 weeks of receipt of the original complaint.
  • Further Acknowledgement – This letter will acknowledge the receipt of further information or the rejection of the offer of redress and will be sent within 5 working days of receipt of the customer communication.
  • Final Response – This will summarise the outcome of all investigations and where appropriate, include a final offer of redress. The letter will be clearly marked as the final response and will include details on the right of referral to the OCC. The letter will be dispatched within 4 weeks of the receipt of further information / rejection of offer of redress and within 8 weeks of receipt of the first communication on the complaint. Where this timeframe cannot be achieved the customer will be informed of the reason for the delay within 8 weeks of the receipt of the original customer’s communication.

Timing and Record Keeping

Complaints will vary in their nature and complexity and the time taken to handle them will reflect this. The timeframe for handling a complaint are set out below. In certain circumstances we may be unable to achieve these standards however we aim to keep you informed of our progress.

  • Complaints will be acknowledged within 5 working of receipt.
  • The result of our investigation will be communicated along with any appropriate offer of redress within 4 weeks of receipt the complaint.
  • An overall time limit of 8 weeks from receipt of the complaint to the issuance of a final response is stipulated by our internal complaints handling standards. Where it is not possible for us to achieve this timeframe we are obligated to inform you of the reason and provide you details of your right to refer the matter to the Office of the Complaints Commissioner.

Last Updated: 2014-02-06