St. Lucia studies St. Kitts’ “Goods Must Move” customs policy

“Goods must move” is the motto of the St. Kitts & Nevis Customs and Excise Department, says Mr. Kennedy DaSilva, Comptroller of Customs and Excise in the twin Federation. 

This guiding principle was shared at the first Virtual Executive Luncheon of the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce. Among persons in the Zoom symposium were representatives of the Ministry of Commerce and the Prime Minister’s Office, as well as invited guests from the private sector of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

St. Lucia Customs officials were unable to join in. 

The Chamber says the presentation delivered by Mr. DaSilva highlighted the practical manner in which the people of St. Kitts & Nevis and the business community benefit from courteous customer focused quick and efficient service. 

Consequently St. Kitts was also able to secure higher revenue intake for Government, through high fines and more interdiction. This resulted in lower prices for consumers. 

St. Kitts Customs aims is to have cargo released at business premises within 2 hours of being off loaded.

Mr. Da Silva indicated that from his and experience of other countries the traditional confrontational approach of the typical Customs & Excise Departments did not work.

St. Kitts focused on the use of a primary declaration approach, using modern management practices. 

This involved a voluntary compliance program similar to an authorized economic operator one that relies on advanced information including passenger and goods. They also used the ASCYUDA World customs entry program, which facilitates risk assessment, and thus minimizes container inspection and delays in goods delivery.