Jamaica Customs takes service to the streets in Trelawny Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

As part of its commitment to foster closer ties with local communities and enhance information sharing and facilitate feedback, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) rolled out a new format of its communication initiative, ‘Customs Meets the Community,’ a parish-based engagement that brings customs directly to the citizenry.

The first leg of the community-based initiative, held on Friday, March 22, took the JCA team across a number of communities in Trelawny.

Accompanied by the FAME 95 FM team, and with the support of the Trelawny Police Division, the Social Development Commission (SDC), the Trelawny Municipal Corporation (TMC), along with the participation of the Trade Board Limited (TBL), the customs team embarked on a journey traversing Rio Bueno to Duncans, and into Clark’s Town, before culminating their efforts in Water Square, Falmouth.

The initiative’s itinerary was crafted to engage with residents in the covered areas, offering them a platform to interact directly with customs representatives. Throughout the daylong event, customs officials engaged in dialogue with community members, addressing concerns, clarifying procedures, and offering insights into new customs processes and initiatives, key among them, the agency’s Contactless Clearance Process and new Mobile App – JACustoms Connect.

From discussing import regulations to explaining clearance procedures, the initiative is aimed at demystifying customs processes, and further strengthening trust between the agency and the public.

La Donna Manning, Director of Public Relations and Customer Service at the JCA, expressed satisfaction with the initiative’s outcomes. She highlighted the significance of community-based engagement “as part of the wider scope of the agency’s communication strategy to… foster greater understanding of the JCA’s policies, processes and procedures, thus encouraging increased compliance.”

She also emphasised the agency’s commitment to transparency and responsiveness to the needs of its various stakeholders.

“By bringing customs directly to the doorsteps of the people within the communities, this initiative underscores the agency’s commitment to serving the public efficiently and effectively, thus giving credence to our tagline, ‘Reaching our customers where they are’,” she added.

Feedback from participants echoed sentiments of appreciation for the initiative, with many residents across the communities visited expressing gratitude for the opportunity to interact directly with customs officials.

As the JCA continues to prioritise community-based (as well as other stakeholder engagements), initiatives such as “Customs Meets the Community” are poised to become instrumental in nurturing stronger ties and fostering a culture of greater cooperation and understanding between the agency and the public, the JCA said in a release.