Business

Financial secretary touts benefits of Click2Clear Customs management portal

As Bahamians use the new Click2Clear customs management portal, the artificial intelligence on the back end of the system will continue to learn and become smarter in order to ensure that the Customs Department is in no way defrauded or cheated out of the government’s revenue, Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson said yesterday.

Johnson, who was speaking at a press conference to announce the Arawak Port Development Company’s (APD) full integration into the Click2Clear system, said APD will use only that integrated network to clear cargo coming into the port as of next month.

He explained that the system is designed to learn continuously in order to protect the Customs Department from any “anomalies”.

“As goods are entered into the system there is artificial intelligence built into the system that will allow us to be able to track trends automatically, so we can see when there are invoices that seem anomalous,” he said.

“We can see when there are trends with specific vendors or among a group of vendors that seem out of sync and it is automatic…it is the artificial intelligence, it’s a learning intelligence that as more information is entered, it will get more precise and allow us to pinpoint anomalies even quicker.”

Johnson explained that all of the major shipping companies have had their systems tied into the Click2Clear interface and are ready to go for September. He also explained that 80 percent of the country’s cargo comes through the Arawak Cay port.

“What’s important is that businesses are registered and on the system, because it is really the business import activity that is the critical marker there,” Johnson.

He added that the system will also allow government to track which sectors of the economy are performing in terms of trade and use that precise information to dissect tariff rates, among other data.

He also added that individual Bahamians who import anything using a freight forwarder or customs broker, has to be registered on the Click2Clear system by September 30 or their goods will not be able to be cleared.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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