Above: the Berbice River bridge in Guyana
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Guyana and Suriname have stepped up anti-smuggling operations on the border between the two countries.
The customs departments of both countries have instituted a new procedure requiring boat owners to report to customs at both Corriverton and Nickerie with valid customs clearance for their boats.
Corriverton is Guyana’s easternmost town, just across the border from Suriname’s northwest region of Nickerie.
The new arrangement has resulted in more boat owners reporting to customs offices and paying duties, according to the Guyana Revenue Authority.
Over the past year, the revenue authority, along with senior officials from Suriname’s Customs and Excise Department, have implemented a number of initiatives aimed at halting smuggling activities.
“The submission of the customs clearances issued by customs officials at Corriverton is one of the requirements for boat owners to load goods in Nickerie,” the GRA said in a release. “In so doing, boat owners who load goods with forged customs clearances that go undetected by Suriname customs officials do not report to customs at Corriverton to pay the applicable customs and duties taxes.”
Guyana has also employed law enforcement officers from Georgetown to conduct anti-smuggling patrols to combat what has been an increase in smuggling.
Guyana’s government said the moves have resulted in an increase in declarations and greater scrutiny of import declarations.