Ease us!

Too many customs checks, complains shipping company

A local shipping company Thursday complained about lengthy delays in clearing goods through the Bridgetown Port, while pointing to the current system of inspection used by the Customs & Excise Department.
Island Manager of Tropical Shipping Andre Gibson told Barbados TODAY he did not see the need for customs to search 80 per cent of all containers before releasing them, arguing that it was now common practice in many countries to search only 25 per cent of all containers.

“What the customs use in those instances is intelligence and they use technology. They use container-scanning equipment, which we have the capability here for,” said Gibson, while stressing the need for local authorities to follow suit.

Island Manager of Tropical Shipping Andre Gibson says companies which have been shipping the same commodity for years from known suppliers should be allowed to leave the Bridgetown Port without being searched every time since they were deemed ‘low-risk’.

“We need to look at better leveraging the technology and better leveraging the intelligence that we have to facilitate the flow of cargo,” he said.

And while acknowledging that there would be security concerns, Gibson suggested that customs would still retain the right to carry out random searches.

He however argued that companies which have been shipping the same commodity for years from known suppliers should be allowed to leave the Bridgetown Port without being searched every time since they were deemed “low-risk”.

“So you may have a consignee getting 12 shipments from a particular shipper per year. You may at random do two or three [searches] just to make sure that everything is above board. You have customers that you have never had incidents for years . . . paper work is always correct, the container has never been compromised, but still they have to have their cargo inspected every time and I think that is where we need to work a little smarter and not harder,” Gibson told Barbados TODAY.

He stressed the importance of a faster customs turnaround, saying, “as a logistics company something we always try for is speed [since] you are trying to keep the cargo moving to its ultimate destination, which is the consignee, and that is what they want. They want their cargo in a short as possible period so they can turn it into a good or service in accordance to what their business model is.”

Efforts to reach the Acting Comptroller of Customs for a comment Thursday were unsuccessful.

However, despite the challenges Gibson said business remains “relatively stable” for his company, which currently employs 14 people.

A subsidiary of the Seattle-based Saltchuk Company, Tropical Shipping has been operating here for more than 40 years. Gibson added that the company’s performance currently mirrored the overall economy in that there have been “slight gains in the last few years”.

However, based on the high volume of containers imported into the country and the number of projects which are currently in the pipeline, he was confident that the economy was “moving in the right direction and that the turbulent waters of the financial recession are behind us”.


26 Responses to Ease us!

  1. Winston Walton February 17, 2017 at 2:23 am

    The customs officers must and should search everything coming into the port, who know if a shipment of guns were in one of the containers. Andre should keep is mouth closed and let the customs do there job.

  2. Sean Gibbs February 17, 2017 at 4:34 am

    Canada and the USA have a system in place at the border for shipments passing through. It’s called an easy pass and what this means is the company or companies involved have passed and qualified for the easy pass by meeting all of the security and safety checks set out by both countries. With the easy pass and correct documentation the driver is allowed to pass through the border in ten minutes as opposed to having a full inspection of the truck and trailer which can take from 30 minutes to a couple hours. The driver also has to have passed all checks as well. They should look at doing something similar in Barbados.

  3. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn February 17, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Customs have to make sure that some these containers don’t have in anything illegal.The commissioner of police said a lot of guns coming through the Bridgetown Port.

    • KENNETH McGILL February 17, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Well stated Angus. The safety of everyone should not be an inconvenience.

  4. ADRIAN Hinds February 17, 2017 at 5:43 am

    Easy pass my foot. howbmuch easier a pass is needed with so much weed and guns comig in? 80%… i say search all

  5. Jennifer February 17, 2017 at 5:46 am

    With all this white collar crime, they need to make sure things are checked properly. Especially the fact that we have some pretty feathered birds too who always fly away. However, they do need to get some technology to help them to speed things up.

  6. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner February 17, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Government should invest in equipment that can scan directly through containers also same equipment to scan through incoming luggage at airport but we talking about Barbados very backwards place.

  7. jrsmith February 17, 2017 at 7:58 am

    @, Jennifer , hail hail, on the button , as for the technology simple cheap technology is being used around the world, why …. is there a reason why politicians in barbados wouldn’t even try any of the technology…………………..

  8. seagul February 17, 2017 at 8:40 am

    To begin–the B’dos LTD. is broke and the technology talk does not come cheap. Everything should be searched and scrutinized.
    Let’s get tough on white collar crime. No playing with our children’s lives.

  9. Patrina Drakes
    Patrina Drakes February 17, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Most of the guns and drugs especially the coke comes through the port in containers belonging to respected companies. We need to invest in technologies that scan containers and luggage or look into security grants that provide funding for such technology .

  10. Peter February 17, 2017 at 9:12 am

    I fully agree with Jennifer. Modern technology is the best method to enforce. This includes CCTV which both the union and customs officers strongly objected to. CCTV not only guards against the smuggling of arms and explosives, it provides enhanced surveillance against corruption which is rampant at both air and sea ports. I am aware of the fact that if certain financial demands are not met, the wheels of due port processes will turn very very slowly and in some instances, stop turning for days or weeks. Yes. Strict security MUST be in place but quick, orderly and efficiency must be the order of the day. and Jennifer. If you mean white business persons when you said pretty feathered birds who fly away or as I understand it, escape prosecution, You are very very, wrong Many black birds fly below radar and either pay their way or use political connectivity to go untouched. Just check how manyg barrels come in with things for who? black people who trade on Swan Street and out of vehicles. You call them crabs in a barrel. I can go on.

  11. seagul February 17, 2017 at 9:30 am

    With all this black bird calamity and crabs in a barrel mentality–where does it leave the small man to survive Mister Charlie?

  12. Jennifer February 17, 2017 at 9:37 am

    @seagul – you already said it. In the bottom of the barrel, with charlie jucking ya down all the time.

  13. Jennifer February 17, 2017 at 9:40 am

    @Peter – hahahahaha you so sweet and funny. But them birds small, a barrel, we need the LIVING LARGE birds with containers, the black birds don’t got none of them.

  14. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor February 17, 2017 at 9:40 am

    He ain’t see d need for customs to search 80% of a container! I wonder y? Hmmmmmm food for thought!

  15. Jennifer February 17, 2017 at 9:42 am

    The ones that got stores that seeing little sales in the year and can’t close down,

  16. Jennifer February 17, 2017 at 9:46 am

    That’s why I like your comments peter. You are very frank. I like frankness like Mr Trump.

  17. Peter February 17, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Let me be very frank with you. I don’t like Trump. He’s racist, immature, and cheat to win. I don’t trust NOR blike him.

  18. Peter February 17, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Nor like him… Oh Jenifer that was a response to yoyr kind comment.

  19. Nico HL Beckles
    Nico HL Beckles February 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    They can search 100% and all what they need to do is actually do the people damn work always and not when they feel like, this is the real reason there are delays, port workers doing what they feel like then customs officers taking lunch at 11 to return at 3:30 then leave 10 minutes later and no one can complain or else they won’t clear your stuff for another month out of spite

  20. seagul February 17, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Trivial and guilty pumpkin eater…

  21. Peter February 17, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Seagul there once was a girl who loved sex. she did it morning noon and night. Every chance she had. Her fairy godmother told her if she did it one more time she will turn her into a pumpkin. Three weeks later the Godmother caught her in the act. and she told her godmother… Here Godma, meet Peter from Barbados. He’s Peter Peter the pumpkin eater. So what’s your other name ? Hickory Dickory Duck? You love to suck? guess the rest…..

  22. Greengiant February 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Yes we are backward but even those who are forward have the same problems. Hope you reside in a forward place @ Rawle Spooner

  23. Shar Maine Collymore February 18, 2017 at 4:35 am

    2013 I had the horrible experience of TRYING to retrieve my goods from the port and the experience was worse than having toothache. There is no organisation in the place and if you dont know anyone that works then you are at the back of the queue. I had to go to the port 3 times and complain on the third with the threats of going to the media. It was only then that my goods were found and then charged a rediculous price to retrieve it. I now pay for extra suitcase it might be dearer but it stops me from having to go to that port ever again!!! The port and the tannoy system at BGI airport are my two biggest gripes when it come to things need changing.

  24. Brewster February 18, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    These are the same people that would be up to no good. You cannot trust no one. The policy stands to protect the people of Barbados. Guns and drugs ARE coming through the port and we need to track them down before they reach the streets. If you are unhappy too bad! Every time these people speak, we bow like fools. This is not newsworthy!


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