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Travellers to Jamaica will soon be able to complete landing form online

Saturday, January 13, 2018

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THE Passport, Citizen and Immigration Agency (PICA), in conjunction with the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) will be launching an online version of the Immigration and Customs Declaration form (C5) to facilitate a speedier processing of passengers and their baggage at the island's international airports.

Minister of National Security Robert Montague said the online system will become operational next month.

The system was developed in-house by PICA and Jamaica Customs at a cost of approximately $8 million, saving the country more than $53 million, as opposed to outsourcing, which would have cost more than US$480,000 or $62 million.

Minister Montague, in commending PICA on their continued advancements said, “This development forms part of the ministry's mandate to introduce technology in all processes in the ministry's departments and agencies. This online landing form will bring Jamaica up to speed with our partners and greatly reduce the average waiting time in our immigration halls. This will ultimately allow our returning Jamaicans and visitors to start enjoying Jamaica quicker, rather than standing in line,” he said.

The technology, known as the Jamaica Immigration and Custom Electronic C5 System, was designed in collaboration with several stakeholders, including PICA, Jamaica Customs, and the Jamaica Tourist Board. It provides passengers with a flexible, easy and efficient option for completing their Immigration and Customs Passenger Declaration Form, and aims to reduce waiting times at immigration and Customs.

The online landing form will be available to the nearly five million travellers to the island who will now have the option to either complete the form prior to travel or complete the physical immigration/customs form upon arrival in Jamaica.

The system is designed to capture all information or data elements from the current Immigration and Customs Passenger Declaration Form, and store this data in an electronic format to be used by immigration officers and customs officers when the passenger arrives in Jamaica.

“The development of this system is just one of a number of initiatives to enhance travel facilitation, while securing the nation's borders. It lays a foundation for future implementation of a more efficient and flexible electronic system such as e-Gates,“ the security ministry said.

Other recent initiatives aimed at strengthening Jamaica's borders and improving service delivery include the use of facial recognition software, which has resulted in identifying more than 800 individuals using fake passports; the online passport renewal system; and the introduction of PICA's drop box service and courier service for customers, said the ministry.

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