NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest yesterday acknowledged the learning curve for the new Click2Clear system is ‘a little steeper than anticipated’, noting there are some issues to be worked through.
Addressing reporters ahead of a Cabinet meeting yesterday, Turnquest said, “The Click2Clear is really a bit of a challenge for us, more so from the perception than the reality in a lot of circumstances.
“The fact of the matter is it is a new program, there is a steep learning curve, a little steeper than anticipated I think. We would admit that but we are doing our best to try and support all of the brokers and importers to get up and going, to work out what the bugs and bottlenecks as quickly as possible.”
He said: “We acknowledge the challenges. On our side of the fence there are some issues we have to work through as well as working with the importers and the brokers on their side to adapt their systems such that they can take advantage of the technology that is provided by the Click2Clear platform.”
Click2Clear (formerly the Bahamas Electronic Single Window) was introduced by the government to facilitate one access point for traders and businesses within The Bahamas that are connected to various government agencies.
This initiative replaced the current Electronic Customs Automated Services (eCAS) system being used to submit and clear declarations.
Earlier in the year, Customs officials said they had reached a “major milestone” having integrated New Providence seaport to the Click2Clear Portal.
Merchants, importers and Customs brokers have complained that the new electronic process has actually slowed down the process.
In a recent interview with Eyewitness News Online, Super Value’s owner Rupert Roberts said the new Customs Click 2 Clear system has created a ‘bottleneck’ for importers.
“We have had a challenge with the new duty entry system. All the merchandise is piling up on the dock and they can’t get the entries through, and it’s been a bottleneck and it’s still a bottleneck.
Roberts said: “I warned the deputy prime minister when this started, I said let’s postpone that until after Christmas. Don’t boggle up merchant’s Christmas stock let’ let them get the stocks in have a good Christmas and let’s put this in, in January when business is slow. And no, they went ahead with it and there has been a lot of problems,” said Roberts.