During the opening of The Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) meeting held at the Royalton Hotel on Wednesday, Senator Dwayne George, the newly appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, asserted that the Customs Division is the second biggest revenue source for Antigua and Barbuda, with the tourism industry being the only one surpassing it in terms of revenue generation.
In his first address since assuming office two weeks ago, the Senator reported that the revenues collected by the Customs Division in 2022 saw a twelve percent increase over 2021.
He further added that the Customs and Excise Division is one of the primary revenue-generating centers of Antigua and Barbuda, and that the division’s collections reached EC$382 million in 2022, compared to $338.62 million in 2021, with tourism being the only other revenue source that exceeded such figures.
Senator George emphasized the importance of the Customs Division in Antigua and Barbuda, as well as in other Caribbean territories, as a crucial agency to the nation’s economic growth and development.
He also acknowledged the contributions that the Customs Division makes to the country’s economic growth and development and expressed his appreciation for their work. According to Senator George, Customs’ role in the region goes beyond border protection and encompasses compliance with relevant regulations and trade agreements, as well as cross-border trade facilitation.
CCLEC, a regional organization dedicated to enhancing the professionalism of its members, is made up of 38 Customs Administrations, 36 of which have signed the CCLEC Memorandum of Understanding.
At the opening, Robert Croes, the Chairman of CCLEC, Claude Paul, the Permanent Secretary for CCLEC, and Raju Boddu, the Comptroller of Customs, also addressed the audience.