Why is shipping inter-island so complicated?

| 24/05/2019
Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

If you are shipping a vehicle from Cayman Brac to Grand Cayman for repairs (vehicle purchased on GCM) why does it have to go through customs?  There is so much red tape involved. First you have to go to Thompson Shipping in GCM to pick up the paperwork, then drive to customs by the airport with the paperwork, then go back to Thompson Shipping, then back to the dock to pick up the vehicle. The vehicle should be checked by customs in the Brac, then the paperwork done. We are talking about inter-island shipping and a used vehicle.

Auntie’s answer: I asked your question of Customs and Border Control (CBC) and, once again, I want to thank the department for the quick response. I am feeling increasingly confident that any customs questions readers send in will not only be answered, but done so within a reasonable time frame.

In case you are not aware, customs is moving online to offer a variety of services that will enable people to avoid that dreaded queue at the office. Here is a link to the Customs Online System or COLS, which also includes a video tour of the new system.

However, for the moment, inter-island cargo is still being handled the old-fashioned way, through the Cargo Processing Unit, which deals with “all cargo internationally and domestically, which includes air and sea cargo”, a CBC official explained.

Eventually, though, changes to the domestic cargo system will enable users to submit declarations through COLS, which will allow you to bid a very happy goodbye to all that running around. Unfortunately, I was unable to find out when that day will come, but when I do I will update this column with that information.

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