Chief Immigration Officers in the Caribbean prepare for CARIPASS

GREATER GEORGETOWN, Guyana – By the second quarter of 2009 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nationals should expect to have further hassle free movement at ports of entry within the Caribbean Region, as the CARICOM Travel Card (CARIPASS) will be implemented.

The proposed implementation of CARIPASS was the main focus of discussion at a recent three-day meeting of the Regional Chiefs of Immigration and Comptrollers of Customs met at their Sixth Joint Meeting of CARICOM Standing Committees of Chiefs of Immigration and Comptrollers of Customs held at the Flamboyant Hotel in St. George’s, Grenada, as they sought to fine-tune details for the implementation of this Travel Card.

The Travel Card which was approved by the Twenty-Ninth CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government in July 2008, is a voluntary regime which will allow eligible CARICOM Nationals and legal residents to clear Immigration using designated electronic gates in Immigration halls. It is expected to support expedited travel throughout participating CARICOM Member States.

The Meeting which was co-chaired by Mr. Jessmon Prince, Chief of Immigration, Grenada and Mr. Terence Leonard, Comptroller of Customs, Saint Lucia also discussed the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between IMPACS and Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD) and the accompanying standard operational procedures which addressed customer service training for Immigration and Customs Departments.

The outcomes and recommendations from the meeting of regional Chief Immigration and Customs Officers will be presented to the Seventh Meeting of the Council of Ministers responsible for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) in November 2008.

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