Intra-regional travel to become easier with the travel card approval

Prime Minister Skerrit

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)…March 17, 2010 – The first phase of the Caribbean Travel Pass (CARIPASS) will become operational by July this year. The agreement to bring the travel card into being was made at the just-concluded Interesessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

The Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica and Chairman of the Conference, described the development as a “major step towards hassle free travel,” as he spoke at a press conference at the conclusion of the meeting held in Roseau, Dominica on 11-12 March.

Ms. Lynne Ann Williams, Executive Director of the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) said that the treaty to establish the CARIPASS became effective following the signature of six Member States at the Intersessional Meeting.

The CARIPASS system will allow citizens of the Member States acceding to the treaty to travel using a travel card. According to Ms Williams, equipment already was in some participating member states and the system would “go live” in July, after participating Member States would have put legislation in place to recognize the pass as a legitimate travel document.

The Travel Card, which was approved by the Twenty-Ninth CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government in July 2008, is a voluntary regime which will allow eligible CARICOM Nationals and legal residents to clear Immigration using designated electronic gates in Immigration halls.

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