THE Ministry of Trade and Industry has started the publication of monthly reports on the operations of various border agencies as part of its trade facilitation agenda and to improve trade and customs border transparency.
In a statement, the ministry said the reports will include information about various border agencies which play a critical role in processing the importation of goods under their respective legislative responsibilities.
These include Plant Quarantine Services (Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Ministry), Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Inspectorate (Health Ministry), Food and Drug Inspectorate (Health Ministry), TT Bureau of Standards (Trade and Industry Ministry) and Trade Licence Unit (Trade and Industry Ministry).
The ministry said the reports highlight the number of declarations submitted to each agency, the number of decisions made in relation to customs declaration processing, the number of auto-approved declarations, average processing time, and the overall monetary value of the declarations processed by each agency. The ministry said these reports provide valuable information for investors and can be utilised for analysis of agency-processing efficiency and market-related decision making.
The ministry said, in 2019 the average processing time by border agencies per customs declaration was 23.7 hours.
"This has been reduced by 52 per cent and currently stands at 11.2 hours per declaration in 2021."
The ministry said improvements such as these, contribute to the ease of doing business as it positively impacts the trading across borders performance index.
"This initiative not only enhances transparency and accountability for the citizens but also positively impacts the ease of doing business in TT for both local and foreign investors."
The ministry added, "This digitised system ensures business continuity beyond regular working hours." The reports can be accessed on the ministry’s website at https://tradeind.gov.tt/goods-declaration-reports/#1620826093594-1c74ce64-6a7f