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(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – A detailed examination of the Import License Process led by the Import License Section of the Department of Commerce took place under the “Chapeaux” ‘Refining the Import License Process’ on Tuesday 10th July at the Public Sector Training Facility at Union, Castries.
This Clinic arose out the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agricultures’ Getting Down to Business Series. Sponsored by Massy Stores, Admac Ltd., and Renwick & Company the half day clinic was well attended by Members.
Chamber Members who regularly apply for Import Licenses spent the morning in a “walk through” of the Import License process. This Clinic brought together all the regulatory actors with Chamber Members to assess and better appreciate the working of the Regime from both the user and regulator perspectives. Key Regulatory Agencies who participated in this “Clinic” included: Plant Quarantine, Veterinary Division, Fisheries Division, Marketing Division (all of the Ministry of Agriculture), Department of Commerce (Import License Division), Customs & Excise Department and the St. Lucia Bureau of Standards.
Chamber Members were implored to submit their applications for licenses early, to allow sufficient time for processing and for all checks, evaluations and decisions to be made. Issues related to the availability of Officers to actually “sign off” on the licenses were discussed and noted as being problematic. Also identified as needing review is the need to recommence the entire process whenever a query is raised. The Clinic was informed of moves afoot to include a facility for payments of all charges to Customs, eliminating the need for travel to individual offices.
Chamber Members highlighted areas where they experienced challenges in the license process, while the regulatory agencies were able to clarify their operating and assessment procedures. This exchange was extremely useful and has set a basis for improved working relationships. The Customs and Excise Department who manage the ASCYUDA World system, advised the Clinic of planned improvements and upgrades as well as revealing some of the critical tips that would make use of the system easier for attendees.
Planned upgrades include the introduction of automatic notifications and the inclusion of a module to facilitate the Ministry of Health licenses being issued via the ASYCUDA system.