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Collector of Customs Samantha Bennett and Assistant Collector Jeff Jackson at the loading of goods into a container.

Published 22nd September 2014, 10:8am

A new Customs process for exporting goods from the Cayman Islands will launch next month to ensure safety and to help curb possible stolen goods leaving the country.

Currently, persons are permitted to pack containers for export at any location, including open lots and at personal residences. Starting 1 October 2014, persons will have to deposit their goods for export directly at the Port Cargo Distribution Centre (CDC), for inspection by Customs Officers.

The new procedure does not extend to major traders and customs brokers but applies to individuals intending to export personal goods using shipping agencies, Customs officials said. All such persons will be required to have their goods inspected by Customs Officers at the CDC, after which Port Authority staff will load the inspected goods onto shipping agents' containers specifically placed on the CDC ramp. The goods will not be loaded unless inspected by Customs, they reiterated.

The Port Authority has reserved Wednesdays and Thursdays to receive goods for export, authorities explained.

"Customs has decided to implement this new procedure to help with the issue of dangerously packed containers which can be hazardous for Customs inspection purposes and to curtail the growing problem of stolen goods being shipped overseas via consolidated container shipments," said the Collector of Customs, Mrs. Samantha Bennett.

"This new procedure will allow for a more detailed Customs inspection and, we are confident this closer scrutiny of goods for export will help decrease the growing problem of thefts and burglaries on-island in the long run," Mrs. Bennett added.

Direct deposit of goods at CDC will be verified by Customs Officers during normal working hours (8.30 am to 4.00 pm). Documents must also be presented to port staff to sign off on all goods received, Assistant Collector Jeff Jackson explained.

However, the Collector can relax the new requirement by permitting persons who meet specified conditions and restrictions (including major traders and customs brokers), to package containers elsewhere. For this to occur, persons will have to seek the Collector's approval in writing, where Customs will inspect the goods as they are loaded into the container, he elaborated.

Shipping agencies and all persons in the trade of shipping consolidated goods overseas using shipping containers are required to hold a valid trade and business licence for this purpose, which must be kept current. Persons in this trade will also have to register with the Customs Department as shipping agents.

For full details about the new procedure, please visit www.customs.gov.ky from Monday, 22 September 2014.