Glenroy Andrew and Friends

Meeting on Saturday 25th April 2009.

AGENDA

1) Comments on report of meeting – 04/04/09
Errors and Omissions
Adoption of the report.
2) A plan of action to co-operate with each other in General Meetings of the Association.
3) A General Meeting of All customs Clerks on Saturday 9th May 2009.
4) Choosing a temporary slate for the up-coming Election.
5) Preparation of an agenda for meeting on the 9th May 2009.
6) Open House – General Business.

GLENROY ANDREW AND FRIENDS
“CUSTOMS CLERKS AND BROKERS”

I held a meeting at my office on Saturday 4th April 2009, with twelve (12) other Customs Clerks.

The agenda for the meeting was to brainstorm the definition of Customs clerks and Customs Brokers. We spent three hours in a work-shop fashion and discussed at length, the Customs Brokers and Customs Clerks Act and its’ regulation – with regards to the Customs Broker, Customs Clerks grade I, II, III and Boarding.

The meeting concluded with a mandate to meet again on Saturday 25th April 2009.

I hereby submit the agenda for the next meeting and five (5) letters.

THE INDEPENDENT CUSTOMS BROKER OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO.

“Customs Broker” means an independent person who undertakes or holds himself out as willing to undertake for remuneration, fee or reward to act on behalf of any other person or persons generally, or who in fact so acts in connection with the entering or clearing of goods or other transactions under the Customs Laws.

After an independent Customs Broker set up business and help is needed for the preparation of customs documents and clearance of goods, there are set procedures in the regulation to accommodate this Customs Broker.

Section 15 in the regulation gives this Broker the right to employ Customs Broker Apprentices in the business. The Broker would have to register with the board within seven days of employment of the apprentice.

The registered customs Broker Apprentice may not sign Customs Warrants but may transact other business at Customs for and on behalf of the Customs Broker by whom he/she is employed and such person shall be held liable for the acts or omissions of the Apprentice acting within the scope of his/her apprenticeship.

Regulation 16 shows that the employees of Customs Brokers are referred to as Customs Broker Apprentices.

Section 17 in the regulation make mention that Customs Broker Apprentice shall undergo a course of training and shall be under competent supervision to enable them to qualify for a Customs Broker’s Licence within three (3) years of the date of employment.

Please note here, that the time frame in the Regulation for becoming a customs Broker is three (3) years.

Please note that all registered Customs Broker Apprentice are always referred to as Apprentice as long as they continue to be employed by a Customs Broker.

This must not be confused with Customs Clerks Apprentices who are employees of companies other than Customs Brokers.

Also note that the regulation prescribes four (4) different sets of examinations for Customs Clerks that work in business establishments other than with Customs Brokers.

Employees of Customs Brokers do not sit Customs Clerks grade I, II, III or boarding examinations.

The registered employees of Customs Brokers are to be called Customs Broker Apprentice or “Apprentice” and sit only one examination to become a Customs Broker.

Section 6 in the Regulation clearly shows that in order to sit a Customs Broker’s examination, a candidate must satisfy the board that he has not less that three months experience of the duties of a Customs Broker.

The word “Apprentice” in the Regulation always refers to customs Broker Apprentice. On the other hand, Customs Clerk Apprentice is referred to as ‘Trainee” in the regulation.

I say to you again, Customs Clerks were not established to become employees of Customs Brokers.

If a Customs Clerk grade II wants to take employment with a Customs Broker, the Broker would have to re-register the grade II clerk as an Apprentice within seven days of employment. This person can now qualify to sit the Customs Broker Examination after three months of employment.

The Customs Clerks and Customs Brokers Association do not have any say or instrument of power over the employees of Customs Brokers who want to become Customs Brokers.

Employees of Customs Brokers must sit and pass a Customs Brokers Examination to become a Customs Broker.

On the other hand, Customs Clerks can only become a Customs Broker through the recommendation letter of section nine (9) of Act 49 of 1970.

Trinidad and Tobago should therefore have as may independent Customs Brokers as possible without limitation. The more Customs Brokers and Customs Clerks in the country, the better it is for the business community. There will be freedom of choice and healthy competition.

Do your part as a citizen! Make Trinidad and Tobago a great Nation!
Vote Glenroy Andrew as your leader…
 

CUSTOMS CLERK GRADE I

A Customs Clerk Grade I was invented in the Regulation under section 7(1) (a). Indicating that the person has a thorough knowledge of Customs and other laws and procedures relating to the Entry and Shipping of Goods. In addition, this person is not allowed to sign Customs Warrants.

The Act makes mention of an Independent Broker and an In-house Broker/Customs Clerk to perform the duties mentioned above. There is no mention of a Customs Clerk grade 1 in the Act.

However, not withstanding the above, a Customs Clerk can only be employed by a person or company dealing with importation and exportation of goods. An Independent Customs Broker cannot employ a grade 1 clerk.

If a Customs clerk grade 1 takes employment with a Customs Broker, the clerk will be re-registered as a Customs Broker Apprentice. This Apprentice would now be a qualified candidate, to sit the Customs Broker examination after three months of employment.

 

CUSTOMS CLERK GRADE II

The Customs Clerk Grade II was invented in the regulation through section two (2) of the Act as follows:-

“A Customs Clerk grade II” means a person not being a Customs Broker, who being the employee of some other person acts on behalf of that other person in connection with the entering or clearing of goods upon importation and exportation.

With all this power in the hands of a Customs clerk grade II, we can best describe such a person as a “Junior In-house Customs Broker”. Customs Clerk grade II can only be employed by a company or person who import or export goods or both import and export goods.

An independent Customs Broker therefore cannot employ a Customs Clerk grade II.

The customs Clerk grade II was invented for the purpose of allowing the business community to have an option of employment of an In-house Customs Broker for lower wages or salaries.

The business community has therefore been given an option of three Customs Brokers to choose as follows:-

  1. Independent Customs Broker
  2. Grade III (Senior In-house Customs Broker)
  3. Grade II (Junior Customs Broker)

The shipping companies have an option of the services of an Independent Customs Broker or employing a Boarding Clerk, another invention of the regulation.

The Act and the Regulation do not permit Customs Clerks and Boarding clerks to be employed by Independent Customs Brokers. Grade 1, II and III were all created for the sole purpose of employment by persons or companies dealing in import and export of goods.

Section 17 in the regulation gives a guide of a timeframe of three (3) years for trainees to become Customs Clerks. Since Customs Clerk grade II falls within the definition of a Customs clerk in the Act, such a person would be more than qualified for a recommendation of section nine (9) of the Act after three years of obtaining a grade II licence.

Vote Glenroy Andrew as your next President of the Association and I will surely make heads ROLL!

To all Grade II Customs Clerk who are desirous of becoming Customs Brokers, follow me for your licence. You are already an In-house Customs Broker or rather a “Junior in-house Customs Broker”. Be a proud people and also be responsible.

CUSTOMS CLERK GRADE III

The Customs Clerk Grade III was invented to represent the “Customs Clerk” as mentioned in section two (2) of the Act as follows:- “A Customs clerk Grade III” means a person not being a Customs Broker, who being the employee of some other person acts on behalf of that other person in connection with the entering or clearing of goods or other transaction under the Customs Laws.

In reality a Customs Clerk Grade III is no doubt a Customs Broker or to put it more precise, a Customs Clerk Grade III is an “In-house customs Broker”.

Regulations cannot change the proclamation of an Act of Parliament. The Act speaks of a person with the power of entering or clearing goods and also boarding ships in the meaning of a “Customs Clerk”. A Customs Clerk grade III therefore must have all the powers inscribed in the Act.

A Customs Clerk grade III should have been able to take employment with a shipping company to handle the duties of a Boarding Clerk, but the Regulation does not allow this.

I do not believe that Laws can be passed by an Act of Parliament and at some time later, people can make regulations to change the true meaning of the Act.

The Act in its present form make mention of an “independent customs broker” and a “Customs Clerk”. The Act make allowance for two different types of Customs Brokers namely: An Independent Customs Broker and an In-house Customs Broker described as a Customs Clerk.

The Regulations on the other hand have taken the In-house Customs Broker/Customs Clerk and broke up the duties of the person into four (4) pieces.

The regulations have invented the following persons:-

  1. Grade I customs Clerk
  2. Grade II Customs Clerk
  3. Grade III Customs Clerk
  4. Boarding Clerk

The regulations have therefore changed the Act by creating a third Customs Broker. The Grade II Customs Clerk is in fact an In-House Customs Broker. The Act has no provision for a third Customs Broker or a Customs Clerk grade II. There is also no provision in the Act for a Customs Clerk Grade I and a Boarding Clerk.

“Customs Clerk” in the Act has been created for the sole purpose of employment in a business establishment dealing with the importation and exportation of goods and boarding of ships. In reality the “Customs Clerk” is in fact an In-house Customs Broker.

The Customs Clerk grade 1 is no different from that of a trainee mentioned in section 15, 16 and 17 in the Regulation. A Grade I Customs clerk should not have been established because there is nothing in the Act to identify such a person.

The Boarding clerk is also sailing in no-man’s land because there is no provision in the Act to identify a Boarding Clerk.

Boarding Clerk

A boarding Clerk was invented in the Regulation under section 7 (1) (d) indicating that this person has a thorough knowledge of the Laws and procedures relating to the boarding of ships and air crafts and is competent in the preparation of transshipment shipping bills and entries for ship’s stores.

The Act makes mention of an Independent Customs Broker and an In-house Customs Broker/Customs Clerk to perform the duties mentioned above. There is no mention of a Boarding Clerk in the Act.

However, not withstanding the above a Boarding Clerk can only be employed by a shipping company, boat captain or Pilot. An Independent Customs Broker cannot employ a Boarding Clerk.

Be wise and together we shall rise.

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