Customs implements Gold Card Programme
December 6, 2013
Customs implements Gold Card Programme

Businesses, large and small, are being encouraged to take advantage of the benefits to be derived from the Customs and Excise Department’s newly implemented Gold Card Programme.{{more}}

Compliance and transparency are the watchwords for any entrepreneur or business entity seeking to apply for the Gold Card status, which, among other things, allows them to see a quick release of their shipment through customs, with their books and records being verified and audited at a later date.

At a ceremony to present three companies with Gold Card certificates on Wednesday, Comptroller of the Customs and Excise Grenville John outlined some other advantages of becoming a Gold Card member.

“A lot can improve in your business performance once you obtain your goods in the quickest possible time,” John indicated.

“Secondly, customs would be less intrusive when dealing with the consignments of Gold Card holders. Gold Card holders’ consignments will not be routinely examined. In business, time is of the essence, and we have recognized this.

“The Gold Card holder will enjoy an improved status when compared to other business entities. This is the objective of the programme.”

John pointed out that while there are benefits, his department also has its expectations of the potential applicants and Gold Card holders.

One such requirement is that the applicant be registered as a member of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce or any organization that can give assurances to the applicant’s adherence to required standards.

“We at Customs are prepared to live up to, and to honour our obligations under these agreements that we will sign today, and we anticipate the same level of understanding and adherence from the Gold Card holder.

“I invite more businesses to step up and to enjoy the benefits that are to be gained from becoming a Gold Card holder,” John urged.

The certification ceremony that took place at the training room of the new Customs building on Upper Bay Street, saw the St Vincent Brewery Ltd, Coreas Hazells Inc, and Pasta Enterprises Ltd receiving their Gold Card Certificates, after signing agreements with the Customs and Excise Department.

The agreement was signed by John on behalf of the Customs and Excise Department, while Andrew Woodroffe signed on behalf of Pasta Enterprises, Kevin Dickson for Coreas Hazells Inc, and Albert Porter, on behalf of the St Vincent Brewery Ltd.

The induction of these companies was facilitated by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, whose president Christine Dasilva said that the new programme was for the benefit of all stakeholders, including consumers.

“We were very pleased to partner with the department in this exercise.

“The cumulative success of our private sector has a great impact on this country’s economic growth, and the Chamber continues their commitment to their role of supporting initiatives such as this Gold Card, that leads to the continuous improvement in doing business in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

”We encourage more partnerships with the public sector, that strengthens existing ties, and leads to a more enabling environment for private sector institutions to operate…”

The president said that her organization looks forward to partnerships that add value and positive change that moves the country forward to economic growth and development.

Businesses wishing to take advantage of the Gold Card programme may get more information on the Customs and Excise Department’s website: