Government is tackling manpower shortages at the Customs and Excise Division, Finance and Economy Minister Larry Howai said yesterday. Speaking at a function in commemoratiion of International Customs Day, the minister said advertisements were placed in the media last year to fill vacant positions. “We have assigned 60 new persons to the Division and I expect that these persons will be in place by the beginning of March.” He added that this number will be increased in the coming months.
Howai also made reference to the four mobile container scannersexpected to be delivered from the United States by the end of June and commended Trade Minister Vasant Bharath for arranging a large X-ray scanner from the Government of China which has been delivered and will be fully in place on the Port within the next month. “These mobile container scanners will improve our ability to closely monitor shipments both entering and leaving our ports,” he said.
He said integration of the ASYCUDA and SEW systems are at an advanced stage and full integration is expected by the end of this month. In addition, there will be amendments to the Customs Act to allow for the exchange of advanced cargo and passenger informationfor faster clearance from the air and seaports. Howai said the Customs and Excise Division can expect to move into a fully outfitted building before the end of the year as preliminary works have already commenced. “We are also developing new training programmes to enhance the capability of our officers and their sensitivity to the concerns of the travelling public and legitimate business enterprises,” he said.