Comptroller of Customs and Excise, Carl Felix is confident that his department can achieve the revenue target collection of $218.8M for 2014.
Speaking on a religious program hosted by Pastor Stanford Simon last Sunday, Felix disclosed that the Custom Department which collected a large portion of revenue for the Treasury has already collect $186.1 million.
He said the Department is well poised to collect the most amount of revenue ever collected in a single calendar year and is well ahead of the target set in the 2014 budget for any given year.
Felix indicated that at the end of October, Customs is $10M ahead of the target that had to be met for the month.
He alluded the success to an increase in the volume of cargo goods coming into the country, in addition to the measures taken by the near two year old New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to tighten on concessions.
The Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) which is playing a pivotal role in the 3-year Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) of the administration has been pushing for massive reductions on the granting of concessions.
The Comptroller of Customs also announced that the ASYCUDA system that was introduced in 2012 to fast-track the clearance of goods coming into the country has helped to improve on the efficiency in the operations of the Department.
“ASYCUDA has made clearance of goods easier in Grenada without a doubt,” he remarked.
According to Felix, prior to the introduction of ASYCUDA, it would have taken importers about 48 hours to clear their goods through the Customs Department but now it takes only 9 hours to clear them.
However, he still sees the need for the process to speed up especially with the clearance of barrels once there is a scanner at the St. George’s port.
Felix spoke in glowing terms of the rating Grenada received through cross border training which is one of the areas in the Ease of Doing Business.
He said Grenada ranked second in the OECS, third in the CARICOM region, and 51st in the world in the area of training across borders out of 189 countries in the world.