Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
On June 16, 2022, it was reported in the Nation Newspaper that the Barbados Customs and Excise Department had taken steps to reduce the huge backlog of packages. The Comptroller of Customs Owen Holder was reported to have said: “We’ve targeted those large importers and couriers to ensure we have that stock level reduced. Only yesterday [Tuesday] I had discussion with the deputy comptroller who assured there had been tremendous results out of that initiative. I am quite comfortable right now that there has been a major reduction, but I am going to be monitoring that situation to make sure. If necessary, we can make adjustments.”
It is critical to highlight that this issue has not been adequately addressed. Time and time again, I am faced with delayed packages in customs for two to three months. I currently await receipt of a package which has been in customs since November 22, 2022!
If the Government of this country wants to stimulate business, it needs to address this situation as a matter of urgency. Lucky for me, I am not a businessperson who is dependent on inputs coming through our customs system, but I empathise with those who do as I am sure this unacceptably slow process has a crippling impact on their businesses. Then, to add insult to injury, after waiting an inordinately long period of
time to get our goods, the level of duties imposed leaves customers of the customs department with a very bitter taste in our mouths.
Get it sorted, Mr. Comptroller! This is a true and sad indicator of the ease or, more so, the lack of ease of doing business in Barbados!
A disappointed and fed up citizen.