5 October, 2018, 9:38 am
THE issue of clearance of parcels at the outer ports is high on the complaints list for Fiji Revenue Customs Service (FRCS).
This was highlighted by the four-member team representing FRCS at the 23rd National Convention on Quality that was held at the Pearl Resort yesterday.
Led by Outer Port officer Raemila Rakesh the team identified three areas of their work that need improvement which are parcel clearance at post offices, sufferance attendance at Malau, Wairiki and Galoa wharfs and Coastal Watch Surveillance.
Mrs Rakesh who is based in Suva said the team chose parcel clearance as a priority problem that needed solutions and with her three team members based at Labasa, Savusavu and Levuka respectively their solution to the problem had reached management level and will be implemented in January next year.
“Our objective is basically what we are trying to do is to cut out the Customs clearance time problem and we will have our customer expectations met,” Mrs Rakesh said.
“Our proposed solution is that we are going to carry out parcel inspections in the mail room in the presence of post office staff and customers present where CCTV is visible.”
The group added that duty assessments and payments will be done at their office and no more at the post offices. “So these leads to proactive clearance service to reduce unproductive time (waiting time) and ultimately this leads to overall indicators we are trying to achieve in our vision and mission statements.”
The improved practice has been piloted at the Labasa post office and has proven to be a success.
From the proposed solution, from January 2019:
- There will be no stipulated time for customers as they can come in anytime to clear their parcel and not the allocated time from 11am to 1pm during the weekdays.
- Examination and inspection is done as soon as the parcel post receives the parcel, they will examine and notify the customer so when customers come in for clearance, they know what duty and how much needs to be paid if they are required to pay duty and also if there are documents required like import permit to be brought in when they come for clearance. That is the proposed process.
“The challenge with us is that we talk about us being border officers but when we are stationed at outports we are not just border officers we look after revenue and compliances as well,” Mrs Rakesh said.