Basseterre, St. Kitts– The Executive Committee of the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) met in Basseterre over the two day period, March 12 and 13, 2014, for the first of its biannual sessions.
The Executive Committee also known as EXCO, is the second highest decision making body of CCLEC which approves the budgets of the organisation and sets policy and directives for the St. Lucia based secretariat.
“We have concluded a productive meeting of the EXCO,” said Mr. Paul Hillaire, Permanent Secretary of CCLEC and head of the Secretariat. He outlined that the council reached consensus on the nineteen prepared agenda items.
Mr. Theodore Brown, St. Kitts and Nevis’ representative to the EXCO outlined three key areas of interest and their positive impact for the advancement of Customs departments and authorities across the region.
The meeting agreed to renew online training opportunities with the assistance of the Inter-American Development Bank in the areas of Customs Management and Leadership and Trade Facilitation.
The EXCO has agreed a proposal to convert the modules of the CCLEC Junior Officer Basic Course into an electronic format. The Secretariat has been mandated to explore the outsourcing of course content writing and conversion to a reputable expert or firm with a proven track record.
The EXCO approved the RCS 2013 (Regional Clearing Systems) for pleasure craft and Sail Clear Implementation. The secretariat has been mandated to actively work on administration and implementation of these systems that will allow for the seamless movement of pleasure craft in the region while providing valuable statistical data for the ministries of tourism in the various territories.
At this point, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Bonaire, Jamaica and Montserrat have entering data into the sail clear system. Additionally, Sail Clear has been implemented in Antigua-Barbuda, Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The Committee has also approved new guidelines and policies for the transformation of the CCLEC and its member customs organisations. These will be published in a new CCLEC website.
The member countries of the CCLEC Executive Council are Anguilla, Barbados, Bermuda (Chair), The British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, France (representing Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, St. Barthélemy and French Guiana), The Kingdom of the Netherlands, St. Kitts and Nevis (Vice-Chair), St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The 36th Annual Conference of the CCLEC will be held in Anguilla over the period May 12 -16, 2014 under the theme, “The Role of Customs in Economic Development”.