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Straughn: Make honest declarations on Customs forms

Straughn: Make honest declarations on Customs forms
Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Ryan Straughn (GP)

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Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn warned Barbadians to be honest with information given to Customs when they are bringing goods and packages into the island, as false declarations can now be easily uncovered.

He defended the Customs Department in its application of duties, saying the department was not going outside the boundaries with the amount of duty charged – which some people complained about – but was instead following guidelines, mainly based on Barbados’ tariff agreements with countries of the goods’ origins.

The Minister was speaking in the House of Assembly on Tuesday after introducing the Customs Bill 2021.

He said no matter what the price paid for the goods, “where you get it from matters” and the duties to be paid locally were calculated accordingly.

Straughn urged people to first consult with the Customs Department before importing “unusual” items.

The Minister said if importers did the “right thing up front” they would not “have to worry about enforcement”. He said the system was built on a certain amount of trust, that information on the forms was accurate and the correct duties were paid. The post-clearance process would therefore become a “rubber stamp”.

However, if there was a discrepancy and customs officer couldn’t verify information, it was very serious and had revenue implications.

Straughn said Government would therefore prefer to put the limited resources to the ease of doing business rather than enforcement. (GC)

However, if there is a discrepancy and customs officer can’t verify information, it is very serious and has revenue implications.

Straughn said Government would therefore prefer to put the limited resources to the ease of doing business rather than enforcement. (GC)