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Senior Minister Amory Applauds Sacrifice of Customs and Excise Department Staff

THE sacrifices of the men and women of Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Department in St Kitts and Nevis were praised by Senior Minister Vance Amory during an address to commemorate Sunday’s (January 26, 2020) observance of International Customs Day.

The officers are particularly important to the twin-island federation as they play a leading role in protecting the borders from contraband entering or leaving the country. Officers attached to the Enforcement Unit also work closely with the Anti-Gang Unit of the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force, participating in patrols and key operations. Regular collaborations also occur with the St Kitts-Nevis Defence Force.

Senior Minister Amory publicly recognised the work done by the officers noting that the men and women rose to the occasion during the hectic Christmas and Carnival season.

“One only has to look at what happens at Christmas time to see the dedication of the men and women of the Customs and Excise Department,” he stated. “From working on weekends to ensure our Christmas gifts and parcels are released on time for that sacred day, to working in the hot sun on their Sundays to facilitate the boat rides, to the extra hours at afternoons and in other cases in the evenings to ensure that cargo can not only be warehoused but examined and released. It must be understood that they sacrifice their time to ensure that you, our citizens, enjoy yours.”

Amory added that the efficiency of the staff at Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Department has helped St Kitts and Nevis to be “rated as number one in CARICOM (Caribbean Community), ahead of the second in position (SVG) by 10 places, in the Doing Business Report: Trading Across Borders. These are indeed worthy accomplishments and signify that the government is serious about business and international trade.”

The senior minister’s remarks were made at the Antioch Baptist Church, where members of the Customs and Excise Department had gathered to worship. The church service was the first in a series of events to mark International Customs Day. Other activities included an appearance on the Working for You radio and television programme on Wednesday, January 29; an Open Day on Friday, January 31; and a beach social on Saturday, February 1. The theme for International Customs Day was “Customs Fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet.”

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