The Bahamas Customs & Excise Department has officially launched its electronic submission portal for cruising permit applications on the Click2Clear platform. The Cruising Permit Module is expected to dramatically improve the processing time for boaters when clearing Customs at the various ports of entry across The Bahamas. Boaters can now complete and submit declaration forms and make payment in advance of arrival.
“This is another great milestone achieved by the Customs Department, which has been leading the way with the modernization of Government services. The new cruising module on the Click2Clear platform provides a seamless and cashless collection process for Cruising permit fees with online applications and payments by credit card,” said Minister Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State for Finance.
“This is all a part of our digital transformation agenda. It addresses a longstanding pain point for boaters who have been clamoring for a fully digital process. It also minimizes the opportunity for revenue leakage,” said Minister Thompson.
Last week, the Customs Department met with key stakeholders in the boating and tourism sectors, including the Association of Bahamas Marinas, representatives from the Bahama Out Islands Promotion Board, the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association, and Ministry of Tourism. These stakeholders will be key partners with Customs to educate the boating community about the new platform.
“The Ministry of Tourism applauds the implementation of the Click2Clear Cruising Permit Module by the Customs Department. We are looking forward to the new system helping us to enhance the boating experience and grow the boating traffic in The Bahamas,” said Dionisio D'Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation, who is charged with responsibility for the boating market.
Comptroller of Customs Dr. Geannine Moss said: “The Department of Customs is committed to embracing modern technology to fulfill its mandate in an efficient and innovative manner. We are pushing aggressively and have had tremendous success rolling out the Click2Clear platform. The Cruising Permit Module is the latest advancement we are happy to bring to the market, and there is more to come.”
To supplement the work being done by the Customs Department, the Ministry of Finance is also working with other government agencies, including the Port Department and Fisheries, along with private sector service providers to develop additional payment and licensing solutions. These will similarly cover fees associated with the boating and fishing industry, including yacht charter fees. The delivery of other payment and licensing solutions by authorized digital solution providers in the private sector is soon to be announced.