Higher Customs Fees Coming

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Guam – The cost of importing goods into and shipping them out of Guam is about to go up. Guam Customs and Quarantine has announced that it is changing its fixed fee schedule to a weight based fee schedule.

In a release, Customs Director Dennis Santo Tomas says the Customs Fee Modernization program received “the full support of the shippers and freight forwarders in attendance” at a public hearing Thursday.

The release does not explain how much fees may increase.

However, Santo Tomas points out that it has been over 15 years since custom fees were last adjusted. And he states the new fee schedule is necessary to meet the rising cost of custom services, particularly with the coming military buildup.

Among the new expenses … a new IT system. Customs he says has received the authorization and the funding to proceed with a request for proposal (RFP) for a modernized information technology system that will allow customs officers to maintain information, receive and process electronic manifests, archive essential economic data and immediately identify suspect or suspicious cargo.

In addition,  Santo Tomas announced that Guam Customs and Quarantine is combining its administrative offices with Air Cargo Operations within the PACAIR Integrated Cargo Facility in Tiyan in order to provide a one-stop service facility for its customers.

Santo Tomas says the presence of administrative personnel will allow customers to immediately address billing questions from customers.

Customs and Quarantine is also working closely to establish a Customs Officer Reserve Program (CORP) which will provide a pool of officers available to work whenever personnel shortfalls exist as a result of military deployments, retirements, resignations, transfers, etc.