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(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – At a follow-up meeting held with the Customs and Excise Branch on August 28, 2018 our members continued to express serious concerns about the proposed Border Management Authority and the
plans to create a Statutory Corporation.
Notwithstanding a meeting held with the Honourable Prime Minister and a subsequent letter from the Permanent Secretary/Director of Finance, we have not been convinced that the Government is acting in good faith.
The following must be noted:
1. The information provided from the Cabinet Conclusion 247 0f 2018 specifically refers to the establishment of the St. Lucia Border Management Authority as a Statutory Board. In the absence of an amendment to that Cabinet Conclusion to say otherwise, we believe that the intention of Government remains unchanged.
2. There have been contradictory statements made by the Prime Minister and other senior officials that add confusion in the minds of our members, who remain steadfast in their view that the position as stated in the Cabinet Conclusion is NOT appropriate for revenue collection and law enforcement purposes.
3. We have taken note that there are no similar structures operating in any part of the region and those other reform initiatives involving Customs have been strongly resisted in places like Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.
Therefore the CSA and the members of the Customs and Excise Branch have stated their intention to remain resolute and will be considering all available legal options to defend its position against this ill conceived initiative.