More than 1,000 persons are now using ‘JaCustoms Connect’, a new Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) mobile application, to undertake their business-related transactions with the entity.
The mobile application, which is expected to be officially launched this month, is aimed at ensuring that stakeholders have a seamless, more efficient and easier way of doing business.
Chief Information Officer at the JCA, André Williams, told JIS News that the agency recognised that there was a gap for the average citizen who might be shipping a small package, all the way through to commercial transactions.
“We wanted to ensure that anyone who has a transaction with the Jamaica Customs Agency will have at their fingertips real-time information in regard to the ability to track and trace your package once it has arrived and the declaration has been submitted to customs,” said Williams.
“Importantly, we also saw the need to add an additional method of payment which would bring about another layer of simplicity as well. So, the mobile app that we developed also has an additional component for making payments,” he elaborated.
The app also facilitates a tariff search which affords users the opportunity to find applicable tariffs for specific products to determine duty rates.
“The average person also wants to know how much duty would be attributable to any item that they’re importing, and that would have given the need to also provide them with a duty estimator, which would provide them with an accurate breakdown of all the duties and taxes that would be applicable for one or multiple items,” said Williams.
JaCustoms Connect also provides for multiple credit-card registration, which allows the flexibility to register one or multiple credit cards for users’ convenience.
“So, these are some needs that we saw in the industry, both from an individual importer and also from the perspective of the larger or commercial importers and exporters,” the chief information officer explained.
The app is available on both android and IOS platforms. Users can simply search for the Jamaica Customs Agency or JaCustoms Connect to download the App.
Williams said the application is easy to use, as the interface is simple.
“We have sought to simplify it on the surface, while there are a lot of complexities in the back end. Of course, you want to have a user-friendly interface to ensure that the average citizen can use it,” he said.
“In downloading the app, it will take you through a step-by-step guide in terms of how to create your account, and then if you are going to do so, you’ll be able to get a step-by-step guide to register your credit card,” he added.
The JCA has also prepared videos explaining how users can access and use the app.
These have been placed on the agency’s social media pages and website.