LIMITED POWER OF THE CUSTOMS BROKERS BOARD

By: Mr. Glenroy Andrew

10th April 2012

The Customs Brokers Board has been given power in Act 18 to make regulations for giving effect to the provisions of the Customs Brokers and Customs Clerks Act chapter 78:03.

The board’s mandate is to prescribe all things required to be prescribed and in particular such regulations may relate to –

(a)  The nature, scope and conduct of examinations referred to in section 7 and the fees payable for such examinations;

(b) The establishment and supervision of an apprenticeship scheme for the training of persons desirous of becoming Customs Brokers or Customs Clerks.

The Board in its wisdom or lack thereof, made a gross error to have established Customs Clerks grade I, grade II, grade III and Boarding.  The act only provide for “Customs Clerks” and “Customs Brokers”.

Act – 4

The function of the Board shall be to promote high standard of efficiency and integrity in the conduct of persons performing the duties of Customs Brokers and Customs Clerks and to ensure the maintenance of such standards by determining the competence and fitness of such persons and by licensing those who attain the standards set by the Board.

The Board has established two apprenticeship schemes of three years duration.

(i)                A Customs Brokers apprenticeship scheme for persons desirous of becoming Customs Brokers.

Regulation 15 – where a Customs Broker recruits an apprentice he shall register with the Board the name of such apprentice within seven (7) days of the date of such recruitment.

(ii)              A Customs Clerk apprenticeship scheme for persons desirous of becoming Customs Clerks.

Regulation 15 – where an employer of Customs Clerks employs any person to be trained as a Customs Clerk he shall register with the Board the name of such trainee within seven (7) days of the commencement of such employment.

REGULATION – 17

Apprentices and Trainees shall undergo a course of training and shall be under competent supervision to enable them to qualify for a Customs Broker’s or Customs Clerk’s licence within a period of three years of the date of their recruitment or employment.

Regulation 17 is a straight case of an on-the-job training course of three years duration.

The Board is obliged to issue Customs Broker’s licence to apprentices who have served Customs Brokers for three years under competent supervision.

The Board is also obliged to issue Customs Clerk’s licence to trainees who have remained employed with a company for three years under competent supervision.

 

REGULATION – 6

An applicant for a licence may not be accepted as a candidate for an examination unless he first satisfies the Board that he has not less than three months experience of the duties of a Customs Broker or a Customs Clerk, as the case may be.

Only apprentices that serve more than three months with a Customs Broker can qualify to sit a Customs Broker’s examination.

Only trainees that have been employed under competent supervision by a company who employs Customs Clerks can qualify to sit a Customs Clerk’s examination.

The Board would also be in violation of Regulation six (6) if it enforces any Customs Clerk to sit a Customs Broker’s examination.

The Board would also be in violation of Regulation six (6) if it enforces apprentices serving with Customs Brokers to sit a Customs Clerk’s examination.

The power of the Board to set examinations extends to apprentices and trainees only. See Act -4 (function of the Board).

If there are to be any examinations for Customs Clerks to become Customs Brokers, then that power would fall in the hands of the Customs Clerks and Customs Brokers Association.  See section nine (9) of the Act.

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