The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) claims its strategy to counter trade-based money laundering (TBML) is yielding positive results.

The agency says it has surpassed its target for the quarter ending June 2016, largely due to software designed to detect under-invoicing and other trade-based financial crimes at the country’s ports.

Duties and taxes

The agency said its quarterly target to June to collect customs duties and consumption taxes was set at just under US$42 billion.

According to JCA data, collections exceeded that target by six per cent to reach US$44.4 billion.

Cautionary note

“The contributory factors to the agency’s revenue out-turn included growth in the tax base, new tax measures and improved compliance effectuated by the Automated System for Customs Data (Asycuda World),” according to a JCA statement.

Jamaica may however miss its target for the next quarter of US$48.5 billion the statement warned.

“Whilst there are mitigating circumstances to the achievement of the second quarter’s target, there exist equal opportunities for the augmentation of the tax base and, consequently, the tax revenues to be collected by the JCA,” it said.

Online migration

In 2011, Jamaica signed a series of agreements with the Inter-American Development Bank to automate several procedures at its ports using Asycuda World.

It aims to replace most time-consuming and error prone paper-based processes with online procedures for checking payments, manifest submissions and declarations amongst other things.