Senior Minister, the Honourable Vance Amory

Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 27, 2020 (SKNIS):  Customs and Excise organizations globally play an integral role in developing the global business; decreasing the risks of international security. Against this backdrop, Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Department joined the rest of the world to celebrate International Customs Day (ICD) on Sunday, January 26, under the theme “Customs Fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet.”

In an address to commence the local Customs and Excise week of activities for 2020, Senior Minister, the Honourable Vance Amory, commented on the theme.

“In light of this, the Customs Department will be looking at the Green Customs Initiative as an ideal strategy. This initiative is geared towards the detection and prevention of illegal trade in environmentally sensitive commodities covered by various Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and international conventions,” said Senior Minister Amory. ”The commodities of concern are ozone-depleting substances (ODS), toxic chemicals, hazardous wastes, endangered species, and certain living-modified organisms. The objective of the Green Customs Initiative is achieved through awareness-raising on all relevant international agreements,” he added.

Senior Minister Amory said that the Federation has a positive outlook.

“St. Kitts and Nevis is heading in the right direction. Our economy is stronger, our streets are safer and more jobs are being created. We can look forward to a brighter future, in part because of the work you [customs officers] undertake so professionally,” said the minister.

He used the occasion to express thanks to customs officers in St. Kitts and Nevis for the exceptional work they perform.

“I want to thank you for your service. As you gather today to celebrate with your fellow customs officers throughout the world, you are indicating that you are always ready to understand how it is to work together and how it is to collaborate in the best interest of the people of our country,” said Minister Amory. “As they celebrate World Customs Day, we want to advise customs officers that you are at the forefront of building a stronger and safer future for our Federation.”

Customs week in St. Kitts and Nevis opened with a church service at the Antioch Baptist Church on Sunday, January 26. Other activities to commemorate the week includes an appearance on the Government’s weekly radio and television programme “Working for You” on Wednesday, January 29; an Open Day on Friday, January 31 and beach outing on Saturday, February 01.