Commissioner of Customs, Wade Smith said the main purpose of the centre is to address the ‘spacing issue’ at local ports of entry and to properly police against illicit items now being imported through courier services.
“We made a proposal to the Ministry of Finance and presented a case to [the] Standing Finance [Committee] where we are now in the process of establishing what is called Her Majesty’s Customs Courier Declaration Centre, which will allow all courier services to deposit their goods into this facility to enable proper, full, thorough investigation and inspection of goods,” Smith said while speaking on ZBVI radio recently.
Clinton Romney, the Deputy Customs Commissioner responsible for enforcement, described the facility as a first step to nabbing persons importing illegal goods through couriers.
He said Customs will be “in total control of receiving the goods and releasing the goods” once the centre is established.
“So anyone that is picking up a package; they’re coming directly to Customs. We feel that is the first step in making our detection and from detection going to court and getting convictions,” Romney stated.
He said Customs has been experiencing difficulty determining the persons importing these contraband through couriers.
Here’s what he explained: “For cargo that comes through a courier that it is consigned to ‘John Doe’, it is very difficult that we could prepare a case, send it to the DPP, and get a conviction.”