Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Friday | January 2, 2009
Home : Letters
Chaos at Customs
The Editor, Sir:

On Thursday, December 31, I visited Kingston Wharves to clear two barrels of books which had been shipped to a primary school by a past student living in the United States. I was appalled by the chaos which reigned in the hall where barrels are stored and collected.

As one would expect at this time of the year, there was a large crowd of people collecting their goods and there were only two custom officers in sight at any time. I was in that hall almost constantly from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and saw four officers in total, but only two seemed to be on duty at once.

Devise better system

The scarcity of personnel is one problem, but they could achieve more and customers would not become so frustrated that expletives fill the air. At present, there is no obvious system to decide the order in which goods are examined. Customers are forced to beg and beseech officers to examine their goods and these individuals work as they feel inclined.

Certainly, it is not beyond us to devise a better system. A number could be assigned to each person/ barrel and the examination done in this order.

The room in which the gate pass is issued also needs attention. Here, dozens of persons are handing in documents to be checked, but there is no line, just a crowd at a window pushing and shouting.

The commissioner of customs should ensure that these matters are attended to early in the new year.

I am, etc.,



Southaven Yallahs

St Thomas

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