A training programme for Customs Officers of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) that was long in the making, commenced on Monday, 22 August 2016.
The programme titled ‘Customs Officer 1’ was compiled by a core of experienced Officers of the GRA and seeks to improve performance, promote career development and a quality of human resources that can deliver timely services to clients.
Deputy Commissioner-General of the GRA, Hema Khan, when she addressed the participants at the GRA’S Headquarters, said it was necessary to have in-house training because the kind of training required by Customs could not be found outside of the GRA.
Given the large number of participants involved, the current programme has catered for training in two batches. Additionally, it was timetabled for August so as not to interfere with the staff compliment needed for the holiday peak season. Modules II and III of the programme are scheduled to follow.
“We’re hoping that when you are trained to carry out your job you will be able to carry out decisions at your level… In this way the delivery of service to the taxpayer can be done in a more timely and efficient manner,” the Deputy Commissioner-General said.
The Customs arm of the GRA monitors the country’s ports of entry to ensure that the laws and regulations for border trade are applied. Duties range from examining container cargo and ship files, de-stuffing, rummaging (vessel and aircraft search) and reporting of vessels.
Deputy Head of Customs Excise and Trade Operations, Patrick Hyman, who will be one of the facilitators, said professionalism and striking balance between expeditiousness and “doing the right thing,” comes with the territory.
The programme will be ongoing for seven weeks focusing on Customs and other Trade Legislations, Customs Release and Accounting of Cargo, Prohibitions and Restrictions, Warehousing, CARICOM and the introduction to Rules of Origin, Valuation Tariff structure and Classification, Smuggling, Vessel, Aircraft, Passenger and Baggage Search, Documentation related to Financing of International Trade, Remission and Exemption of Import and Export Taxes, etc.
A section of the gathering of participants at the Customs Officers 1 Training Programme
Deputy Commissioner-General of the GRA, Hema Khan, addressing the opening of the training programme