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WITH SUPPORT OF THE OAS, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
MODERNIZES CUSTOMS OPERATIONS

  June 30, 2008

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza participated today in the official launch of Antigua and Barbuda’s new customs management system, which was implemented with the support of the hemispheric body.

The Customs Automated System (CASE) was originally developed, and successfully implemented, by the Government of Jamaica, and later donated to Antigua and Barbuda. Here, CASE has the potential to increase customs-related revenue collection by 30 per cent annually. It will also reduce the time it takes to clear goods arriving at the Port from several days to 24 hours, thereby significantly improving the country’s competitiveness.

Secretary General Insulza, praised the Government of Antigua and Barbuda for the transparency and efficiency that CASE will introduce in the public sector of the country. He said that the new system “sets up an example of regional collaboration that the OAS would like to expand to other countries of the region with the support of all those involved in this successful project.”

Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Finance and Economy, Errol Cort, said that the successful implementation of the new system has brought the country to the forefront of customs management in the Caribbean region. Cort highlighted with deep appreciation the support of all institutions involved in making CASE Antigua and Barbuda a reality. “In addition to the Organization of American States and the Government of Jamaica, the people of Antigua and Barbuda appreciate the kind support of the Government of Canada through IDRC/ICA and CIDA, as well as that of the Development Gateway Foundationand CARICAD,” he said.

Also present at the official launch was Audley Shaw, Minister of Finance and Public Service of Jamaica. “We are delighted that our successful experience in Jamaica can benefit the people of Antigua and Barbuda. We look forward to working with the OAS to support other Caribbean countries with the implementation of CASE,” said Minister Shaw.

The trade-related community of customs officers, brokers, importers and businessmen expressed profound satisfaction for the transparency and effectiveness that CASE will bring to customs operations in Antigua and Barbuda.

For more information, please contact Miguel Porrúa, SEDI/OAS, at mporrua@oas.org or 1 202 250-0755.

Reference: E-255/08