Customs Dept says customers charged $3.35 fee incorrectly will be refunded
Ministry of Finance dispels rumors of charge being linked to digital payments company Kanoo
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government yesterday “temporarily suspended” the introduction of a customs processing fee to allow for additional training and customer education, noting that the $3.35 fee does not apply to individuals using their customs exemption or filing nothing to declare.
Customs Comptroller Dr Geannine Moss noted in a statement yesterday that some individuals have been charged the fee incorrectly and that the Customs Department is making the appropriate arrangements to issue them refunds.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Finance, the customs processing fee was approved during the 2021/2022 budget exercise to support the cost of operations by the Bahamas Customs and Excise Department.
“The $3.35 fee does not apply to individuals using their customs exemption or filing nothing to declare,” the statement noted.
“It is only applicable for individuals who declare taxable goods on a C17 or C18 form associated with accompanied baggage declarations.”
Moss added: “These fees are collected by the Customs Department and deposited directly to the Public Treasury. We are aware that some customers were charged incorrectly and are making arrangements to issue the appropriate refunds.
“While the fee is being suspended, we are reviewing the implementation to ensure adequate training and proper communication.”
The ministry noted that the fees would be applicable to both manual submissions and submissions through the EXEMPT app now being trialed.
It further noted that social media reports linking the app to the fee specifically and to the company Kanoo are “wholly erroneous”, adding that the app was proposed to and accepted by the Customs Department from the New Providence-based company Exempt Technologies Ltd, which had prepared a proof of concept prior to approaching customs.
Speaking with Eyewitness News yesterday, Customs Superintendent Tyrone Sands urged returning residents to utilize the new electronic baggage declaration system to pay online and avoid long cashier lines.