A new memorandum of understanding signed this week between government and the US Customs and Border Protection is being heralded as the first of its kind.
The new initiative, called the ‘fast track programme’ aims to streamline airport procedures by sending Cayman’s Customs and Immigrations officials to Miami to pre-clear passengers for arrival to Cayman before they even board the flight.
Acting Chief Immigration Officer Bruce Smith told Cayman 27 there will be a review of the pilot programme at the 30-day mark.
“We are going to look at the functionality of the process, the buy in from the passengers. If somebody has a specific issue, we want to make sure those issues are worked out,” said Mr. Smith.
“The one thing we can’t do on foreign soil is to collect revenue, so for things such as import duty, on items that are coming in, that will have to be collected here in Cayman, so that’s something for passengers to consider,” said Collector of Customs Charles Clifford.
Mr. Clifford told Cayman 27 if the project progresses and moves beyond an MOU to a treaty-based arrangement, he believes Customs could potentially negotiate the ability to collect on the Miami end as well.