By Theresa Goodwin
Officials at the Antigua Port Authority and the Customs and Excise Division have partnered to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ for residents clearing barrels and other items at the facility, thus reducing the time it takes to complete a transaction.
With the support of the government and China, the agencies have retrofitted a section of a disused warehouse to house Tariffs to collect payments, along with Customs, port cashiers and other workers tasked with collecting monies on behalf of the authority.
CEO of the Antigua Port Authority Darwin Telemaque said the move means residents will no longer need to leave the warehouse to travel to different offices to complete clearance.
“We think this is a very significant step in the continued collaboration between two agencies as well as the ability to manage the social distancing.
“As we go into the busy season, we expect larger crowds, and if we were in our usual part of the warehouse this would be very difficult,” Telemaque said.
The port manager said that, prior to the change, residents would have to go to about five different offices to facilitate one transaction.
Denise O’Donoghue, who spoke on behalf of Customs, said her department was delighted to have partnered with the port on this venture.
“As of this Christmas, people will no longer have to leave the port to go over to Dredge Bay and come back. It is a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all. Customs cashiers will be down west, and we have a station now to facilitate Tropical Shipping; we are here to please the public,” O’Donoghue added.