Customs policy absurd

| 07/08/2014

(CNS): The decision by the customs department to start enforcing a 30-year-old policy to have people register their own electronic items before they travel so they do not get charged duty on them is absurd, the Chamber president has said. Johann Moxam is urging the duty enforcement agency to concentrate on the real crime, such as the recent Operation Spearfish, and stop undermining business with pointless and frustrating layer of bureaucracy. In a statement this week that has wide support, the president of the business body pointed out that in the modern age everyone is traveling with electronic devices and registering them before they leave is a step backwards. Customs bosses, however, claimthat it will "provide a smoother" transition.

The policy, which has been in place for three decades, requires those traveling with electronic devices to register them before leaving to verify on return that they are not new acquisitions by the traveller trying to dodge the tax.

However, the Chamber president said, "We live in the information age and carrying electronic devices is a way of life and a business necessity. Registering electronic devices is a waste of time and money and falls into the category of absurdity. We should be trying to simplify the travel experience rather than complicating it with policies that should have been abolished years ago. The Chamber supports lower duty rates for retailers, which would encourage more residents to purchase these items locally rather than abroad. Policy makers and customs officials are placing the emphasis in the wrong area,” Moxam added.

He said Operation Spearfish was the type of exercise where customs should continue to direct resources, as he commended recent efforts to seize containers that are suspected to be packed with stolen goods. The practice of stealing and shipping the booty off island is believed to be common and has gone on almost undetected for years.

“The enforcement section of customs should be commended for taking this action. Stolen goods and contraband distort the local marketplace and harm both businesses and the consumers who purchase the stolen and illegal items. The Chamber encourages customs to focus more energy in this area so that persons who are involved in this illegal activity are brought to justice, not on wedding dresses and registering electronic goods,” Moxam said.

Although the Chamber says that some advances have been made in creating a more business-friendly environment in Cayman as a result of its partnership with government on the Future of Cayman initiative, Moxam warned that there are still too many antiquated and anti-business policies that are regressive and detract from making the Cayman Islands an attractive place to do business.

The customs department has defended this latest clampdown and said that customs has always encouraged the completion of this form for passengers to help clear up customs queries when travelers return. “Otherwise, the customer could be subject to be paying duties on an item," Samantha Bennett the customs boss stated. “It is the passenger’s responsibility to satisfy the officer that duties are not applicable when bringing the item back into the country."

Import duty is charged at 22 percent for electronics, which could prove very costly for travelers, especially if they already paid duty on those items when they first purchased them.

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Comments (178)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Totally agree with you Mr. Moxam. it is absurd because Customs does not even check the registration when you return so Samantha Bennett make people go through this process of registering their electronics and when they return, no questions are asked and passengers are not asked to produce the registration so what is the point?

  2. Anonymous says:

    On every trip I  travel with m mannequin/my blow up doll. She is battery operated. I paid $700.00USD for her long before Ivan.  I cannot find the receipt for her but I have named her Frilly Pinky.  Do I have to register Ms. Frilly Pinky too?

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you prove that she is "used"?

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      Does she have a work permit?  Surely she should have been rolled over by now (and not in the way you mean!)      

  3. Anonymousand says:

    Cheers to Moxam for hitting the trivial low-hanging fruit to keep up visibility.
    Now, how about insisting your merchants pay tippage fees at the dump?
    Or is that only CIG problem to solve?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is there an easy way to find the serial number of the phone? I dont have the packaging. Can it be found somewehere on the phone, without having to take it out of the protective case… Just asking. Thanks

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a thing called Google.  Use it dufus.  Because since all phones are not the same how the @@@@ are we meant to help you?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dont worry, Mr Moxam will top the poles for George Town comes the next election and will  make a change to all this madness. He will throw out and reverse all the crap.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really it is obvious that you have not studied Cayman politics 101 promise now give nothing later.

      We he goes n and sees he reality of the civi servants he will change his tune

      • Anonymous says:

        He said "poles" not "polls".  Maybe he means Moxam is going to climb the flagpole at the Government Administration Building at the next election?

        • Anonymous says:

          You quite understand what I meant. Couldnt you answer my post in a more sensible manner rather than correcting a spelling fault. I certainly made a mistake as I know that you ddo not have a better command of English than what I do. However I dont think that you liked my post, but that Mr Moxam is a one hell of a gentleman and thats the kind of Politician that is needed in todays world. If you dont like that I have someone better to introduce to you at a later date along with Mr Moxam.

           

    • Anonymous says:

      Isn't this the real problem. This is less about the Chambers business and more about Moxam running in the next elections. this is exactly what the Chamber should not be, about  want to be politicians using the chamber to promote themselves, and why the Chamber lacks credibility, not just in the public but even amongst its members. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Make money through other means and ensure customs is why it is for to detect drug smuggling and illegal movement of stolen goods. 

    This ridiculous requirement will deter people from living here. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, I always registered my laptop when going off island and found it a simple process, phones might be a bit excessive in this day and age. However, as for generating revenue, what about bringing back garbage fees?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I travel with two tablets, one for work and a personal device, a GPS, kindle e-reader, two phones, wifi hotspot device, portable drives and an ipod.  I have neither the time or inclination to deal with inept customs officers in going through a stupid registration process for an outdated law.  If you charge me duty on any of this stuff claiming it to be new, I will see you in court

  9. Anonymous says:

    It would appear that the new head of Customs is either very out of touch, out of her depth, likes to create a great soundbite or is indeeed a combination of all 3…

    She is not the right person for this job

    Has anyone actually looked at the rules from the Mother country…basically they will not look at you unless you have more than £600/CI 850 of stuff, plus your duty free allowance

     

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/arriving/

    • anonympous. says:

      Horse manure!This is only a PPM trick or govt ploy to further control the minds of the people and phishing into people's private confidential affairs.This is socialism aka communism!

    • Anonymous says:

      21:34   I followed the link you gave but did not find the information you posted.However I found that persons arriving from in the UK from non EU destinations are entitled to small duty free allowances on alcohol and tobacco products,and an allowance on other goods of 390 pounds sterling (if arriving by commercial aircraft/ship) or 270 pounds (if arriving by private aircraft/ship).Amounts exceeding these allowances and up to 630 pounds are charged at a fixed rate of 2.5%;above 630 pnds normal duty rates apply.One big  difference between the UK and Cayman Is,is  that in the UK  should any one item exceed the personal allowance then duty is collected on the full value of the item;in the Cayman Is under the same circumstances ,the allownce is given and duty collected on the remaining balance.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, she seems very unwanted and unpopular. Again woman at the top a disaster. I am a woman likewise but I can realize the truth. That job is for a nice Gentleman.

  10. Smuggla Ebanks says:

    The most simple solution of course is for local merchants to quit ripping us off.

    • Anonymous says:

      That's a BS comment. Competition keeps local merchants honest. Check out what goes into the landed cost of a product, multiply that times 1.22, and check out how much of your consumption dollar goes to the CIG. If there were excess profits in any local business sector, additional competition would move in and the prices would come down. Our economy went through that long ago and local pricing is barely supporting most businesses. 

  11. Just Sayin' says:

    The watch I bought in Miami last week and mistakingly neglecrted to delcare upon my return cost ten times as much as all of my electronics combined.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The customs department can achieve their objective through educating of their front line staff.  First, on inspection, if the officer suspects the device is new and exceeds the allowance then check it out.  Its so easy to lookup major brand's serial number via the web to determine purchase date and/or warranty expiration dates which will quickly determine when the device was purchased.

    Smanatha, use some intelligence, train the officers in using basic web site query for major brands to check these devices if they suspect the device is new and the person is attempting to avoid paying the duties.

    Also, check how many devices are in the person(s) possessions on arrival.

    There are so many intelligent ways to acheive the same results using a cheap laptop, connected to wifi in the customs hall rather than this rather silly policy which does nothing but add another step to the out-bound traveller and another layer of administration.

    Better yet, do an electronic registration on-site at the airport while people are waiting in the immigration line, which is usually very long and another teminal outside in the main hall.  

    And also, put on in the arrivals hall so people can register on return if needed.  There are so many easy ways to acheive the desired results using in-expensive technology solutions and some thinking outside the box.

    We are going backward as a country.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Government is shit.

  14. Anonymous says:

    mind you now, all of this so they can collect money for government and then turn around and the politicians and chiefs can waste $10 Million on travel. it's downright madness.

  15. Anonymous says:

    OFF THE SUBJECT A BIT.

    How about adjusting the import alowance amount for returning locals.

    $350 has been the amount for as long as I can remember, 20 years or more.

     

    what was the value of  $350 many years ago?

    what does the same $350 buy you now??

     

    I am sure product costs have tripled in that time.

     

    Time to adjust for inflation and cost of living!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    How can all electronic devices be registered? Have you ever tried to get hold of your teenager or 10 year old devices? How do you even know what your children will be packing for the trip? Do they bring the iphone and ipod. Should they bring the Laptop to catch up on home work? How about the MiFi? Will that be packed along as well?.That is one minor point of exaggeration. But the point being is that there is no way to enforce this law correctly. Every school will be trying hard to remove books and other material. Governments throughout the world are trying to avoid printing paper receipts and encouraging online for just about everything. Even the customs department has indicated that they will be offering online services and payment options. Try making a trip to anywhere without offering your kids something to keep their minds busy. Yes some of you might come up with the old cliché of “should not make them have it”. IPad, Tablets, Smart phones and other electronics is the normal way of life. There is no going backwards. Do we make exceptions for emergency trips?  If so, how do we apply that in court of law? Will customs find another counter at the airport and have officers ready 24 hours or when flights are in and out?

    Same as how the wedding dress fiasco could be resolve with common sense, this issue can be resolved. Of course Samantha is doing her job as expected. But at some point the officers and seniorofficers and other persons that can lead to decisions making are able to put in there two cents to explain about this law being flawed in this modern times to the Government or to whoever is making the decisions in such cases.

    Just when I was about to give kudos to the customs department for their efforts with leading the law enforcement drive on those containers. They had to come up with this.

    Can we all sit back and wonder who or what the Government will think up next and ask to be enforced. Maybe if the Government took the time to make sure that the teachers and doctors and nurses are qualified for teaching and handling patients and enforce those laws, then we can have a start.

    We have now come Full circle. The Islands that time forgot. To the Islands that forgot time.

    And to think of it. Changing to daylight savings time is the priority.

    Either the Politicians don’t know. Or they do not care of what is happening to these Islands. Or someone in each department at the civil service is having field days on doing and getting away with this rubbish.

    Ole Mac might have seemed like an old crazy power hungry Dictator on the run, but this Government could be heading for full communist.  It was how it started in Cuba. Run out the foreigners and lock in the Locals. 

  17. pmilburn says:

    More Red tape for people to deal with.Can we get any more complicated here?Getting through immigration and customs now is a nitemare for many people without added frustration.Who came up with this bright idea anyway?Put that person in charge at the airport and let him/her deal with it and see how long this new excersise lasts.

  18. Anonymous says:

    What exactly is an electronic device according to customs? Most people are travelling with more than they realise, watches, phones, portable hard drives, kids shoes with flashing lights, fitness monitors, pace makers, portable gps driving aids etc.  Customs is 1) way behind the times 2) adding a completely useless layer of burdensome bureaucracy and 3) not all electronics even have a serial number and for many it is just a sticker that could just as easily be printed and stuck on a similar device.  Not to mention the open display of lethargy with customs officers even when you try to do it right.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The myopic mind-set of the policy makers in this country! It would seem these people have no perception of the outside world whatsoever!

  20. Anonymous says:

    one guy tried to tell me i needed to register my camera even though i bought it here and i was flying back in from miami he said he could charge me duty if i didnt register it or produce a cayman receipt and he would confiscate it. it wasnt until i explained there was no duty on a slr camera that he said oh ok. doh. nice one homer.

  21. Dennis Smith says:

    What happens when a non-resident person or a businessman arrives in Cayman. Do they have to register their computers, cell phones, tablets and cameras? What about their software. If they don’t register how will customs know that they didn’t leave everything behind in Cayman? 

    Of course if they are required to register coming in they must be processed as they leave. Imagine a team of Hedge Fund managers and their advisors being processed while their private jet burns fuel waiting. 

    This is another example of a poorly thought out law. Just make exceptions for electronic devices and be done with it. Next thing you know I’ll have to register my new shoes before I leave.

    Some things just don’t make sense and in a day and age where everything is electronic and every visitor arrives fully wired maybe we just have to accept that we can’t and should attempt to control and duty everything. 

    Didn’t we learn a lesson from the Wedding Dress fiasco? These times they are a changing. Hpoefully.

    • Visitors says:

      Um, visitors would not be in the Immigration system.  I am all for the stopping of smuggling of new laptops and gadgets (coming in without paying duty) but this only works if we know who is a visitor and who has a duty-free customs allowance.

      Every air passenger would have to be identified as resident OR visitor and those who are residents must declare their personal electronics when leaving…. or face 22% upon return.

      Again, the simple tamper-proof lables for IT inventory can do this, but it would add time at TSA screening to lable electronics.

      However, this being said…the UK NOW MAKES YOU turn ON all elevtronics when leaving Heathrow so why not get a sticker at the same time?

      Low-tech answers…..low-tech answers.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Firstly, this is Cayman, we have security guards, not TSA agents, (thank god).

        Secondly, Immigration obviously know who are and who are not residents when they scrutinise passports for work permits etc..

        And finally, the UK is not the only country who has been requested to check hand baggage electronic goods.  However, they also don't get paranoid about bringing a reasonable quantity of electronic goods into the country as the Border Force has better things to do than search every incoming passenger for a phone, tablet, laptop of games console.

        Most residents have guests visit them on island, if they want a new laptop or tablet they'll just ask them to bring one in. Are Customs going to busy themselves asking all passengers to register electronic goods, the paperwork will be massive and totally uninforcable when the system collapses under the strain?

        Stop playing detectives, get on with protecting the public against drugs and guns. And stop local businesses ripping off customers with over inflated prices.

  22. insane says:

    The funny thing is….In 2011 I bought a computer witch I declared and paidmy duties.

    And I was informed that I had to register my computer prior to leave to avoid to have to pay tax again, so I did.
    The for expires every 6 months, they have the serial number and I have to be registering at all the time I need to leave the Island.
    I discovered this in a hard way, while I left the island with a "expired" computer registration.
    i battle not to pay and I didn't as the "expired" registration had all the information as it was the same computer.
    Plus it was a nightmare to register as not always there is someone there to help and when it does, it takes forever.

    I do agree on registering a new eletronic but not registering the same computer 6 times like i did on mine.

  23. Anonymous says:

    why do electronics have to be registered?  why not shoes?  underwear? pens? hats? condoms? chewing gum?

    friggin bureaucrats

  24. noname says:

    I do belive there might be one other law, all of you might be breaking, have you all paid your radio licence on your cell phone and anything that is now wireless lol, after all a cell phone is almost like a walk a talky and operates on a radio frequency lol 

    Someone at the Post Office been dropping the ball many years not collecting that fee.

    Trust me this country has some of the most stupidest laws

    Be careful what you dig up, next will be the wonderful UK TV license. 

     

     

  25. Anonymous says:

    Watch out, I had one officer try to charge me for a phone that cost me 350CI in Miami, and they were going to charge me as if the limit was 350US. Its 350CI or about 420 US is your limit for returning residents. 

  26. Michel says:

    Can someone tell us what we have to do and where to go. Is it true it must be the day of your departure ? I am confused here ! Phone too ?

  27. Cheese Face says:

    I ain't freakin doin it period.

    • Anonymous says:

       15:32.That is ok ,just be prepared to pay duty if you are over your allowance when you return,or to leave your equipment behind until you can go home and search for the receipt proving that you paid duty or that you bought it locally.Of course instead of all this hassle you could maintain your stance of "  I ain't freakin doin it period" and just pay the duty to avoid further unnecessary delay.

      • Cheese Face says:

        Hmm, now you've really made me think about it. Nope, still not doin it. Like others have mentioned, where does it stop? Watches? Clothes? Fight the power!

  28. Anonymous says:

    This policy is absurd on many levels.  I would highly object to a Customs officer making me turn on  my electronics and looking for what?  Old emails, phone calls – regardless, that is my personal possession and information and this invasion certainly must cross some line on the wrong side of my rights.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Once the old fashioned, non modernizing, old foots get out of office we will be fine…

    This is 2014 people.. wake up. I bet, if I were on a fllight coming in from Jamaica they woudlnt harass me…

     

    2014 remember…

     

    Do I need to register my watch too? It takes batteries… and it's electronic as well!

  30. Anonymous says:

    They have this in Bermuda too, although you only visit the customs office once. They write the make, model And serial numbers of all the devices you bring with you on a small wallet sized form. You then keep this with when you travel.  No expiry date. 

  31. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    Welcome to the full blown tyranny – these people in power know no end to their madness!

  32. Walker says:

    What about tourists visiting? Do they declare everything too? Electronics, golf clubs and balls, shirts, pants, bras, undergarments, etc, where does it stop? 

  33. Concerned 1 says:

    Just another day!

    Every other jurisdiction in the world allows you to travel with your laptob and cell phone. In most countries these items are listed as duty free for educational purposes (laptop) as long as you have 1 per person. What would be the sence of going to Miami to buy (1) laptop at $750 when you have to buy a plane ticket $400, rent a car $200 and pay for a hotel $110.

  34. Anonymous says:

    If we concede that we need to register electronic goods, then what next?  Do we need to ensure all our clothes are catalogued and indexed before we travel?  Do we need let them know how many tubes of toothpaste we take out with us so we don't smuggle in extra toothpaste on the way back?  

  35. Anonymous says:

    Okay Just remove duty on all portable electronics, then add a $5 per internet connection duty per month to every internet account. 

    Problem solved and it will probebly raise more revenue overall. 

    • Anonymous says:

      See… that's what this country needs more of in the Legislative Assembly: viable solutions. What you suggest is a very good idea, but of course, no one in the LA is listening because they already know everything there is to know about everything. Just ask them.

  36. Anonymous says:

    So I just buy online from Best Buy. Have delivered to my store of choice. When I get the email confirming delivery ring up the Geek Squad and ask for the serial number on the box.

    Give to Customs and I can bring my new computer in duty free.

     

  37. Anonymous says:

    Does this include toothbrushes and vibrators?

    • Knot S Smart says:

      What is a vibrator and how do you use it?

      • Anonymous says:

        Ask your mother. And have her tell you about the birds and the bees while she's at it.

      • Diogenes says:

        The poster seems to suggest its a bit like an electric toothbrush, apparently

      • Fred the Piemaker says:

        Its an electronic device you can use to sc#$w yourself,whereas the new policy is Customs way of sc#$wing you without the need for devices/  

      • cow itch. says:

        I have two :))>

      • Anonymous says:

        I will ask in Church on Sunday and let you know. I think its an anti- efficiency device that most officials here have stuck up their a**es …certainly renders them absolutely useless for anything worthwhile or useful. Hence the ban on them, that kind of power can go to your head…

    • Anonymous says:

      Vibrators are illegal.  You call it a novelty item or a back massager…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Vibrators are actually illegal here.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not true.

      • anonymous says:

        Has anyone ever seen this law? Is it one of those classic Cayman laws that are made up in a bar somewhere on Eastern Avenue and regurgitated as true.

        The "being Gay" and " trying to feed Cubans" laws spring to mind.

         

    • Anonymous says:

      Just don't get the two mixed up!

  38. Anonymous says:

    When things fall in the too hard category, people do not bother. Companies coming to the Cayman Islamds have difficulty getting a work permit, difficulty with guarantee of stay for x period of time, high prices for consumer goods, unecessary bureaucracy at the airport, anti-expat sentiment, raised fees for the financial services companies. What are we saying? We are showing unfavorable conditions and the Cayman is not open for business. 

     

  39. anonymous says:

    Totally and absolutely ridiculous!  How about all the tourists who come in with their computer, their iPhones, etc.?  We need these people to come stay in the Caymans without hassle.  EVERYBODY I know uses these devices just like a phone.  Are phones next???  Good grief!!!

     

  40. Knot S Smart says:

    i propose that we transfer the top officers in the Customs Department, and the entire Statistics Department to an outpost office in Siberia…

  41. Anonymous says:

    Only in Cayman we see this crap.We are going backwards in stead of moving forwards . Small minded people are hired to run customs department. Do we see this in any other country??. In stead to help the people and the economy it looks like our beloved governament is in the businees of running our lives..

  42. Anon says:

    Ever heard the phrase "from the sublime to the ridiculous"? Sometime ago I brought in a laptop which cost roughly $2000.00 US, including very specific software which had been added to it. I didn't have a lot of luggage and I had the laptop in a carry-on bag. I declared every thing I had bought and the customs officer dealing with looked at my luggage and said "you have this much in this luggage?" I pointed out the laptop. And he actually said to me "you could have walked through with that you know". The pendulum has now swung to the ridiculous.  Common sense is so uncommon, particularly, it seems, in our Customs department.  

  43. Anonymous says:

    The next step will probably be a Custom's offence for not declaring illegal drugs.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Crazy, not even the draconian US standards can match up to this. What a waste of time, energy and money. So now I have to register my work laptop, my work blackberry and my private iphone, all of which have data on traceable back 2.5 years to prove they are mine or my companies. Has it not occurred to them that they could (if they had any sense) look at these divices and be able to tell very simply if they are new or not? Or do they not have anyone with enough knowledge to do that?

     

    I can see some court cases on this one-infringement of human rights for sure. I for one refuse to register and will have no hesitation in suing if they try to charge me duty. It is up to them to do their job properly, not the half goon show that goes on now.

  45. Anonymous says:

    What would they do if no one complied with this draconian policy?

    The power is still with the people to make demands of the Government (and its agencies) when it concerns the implementation of policies that are not in the best interest of the Cayman Islands or its people.

    Collectively we have the power to right this wrong by refusing (as a whole) to comply.

    This is actually the perfect time and instance to remind persons like the Collector of Customs that ultimately she still reports to the Cayman Islands people.  

  46. Big Ben says:
    1. Use a tamper evident sticker* to mark high-value items as they leave the country (do this with a Customs officer both landside and airside allow for marking of checked and carry-on items).
    2. Warn people for 3 months that unmarked items will be charged duty, even f they appear to be 'used'. 
    3. Enforce checks on high-value electronics and charge duty on unmarked items for all residents.
    4. Do not hassle visitors. The value of goodwill and the revenue from tourism hould make up for any small amount of smuggling of dutiable items. Apply common sense (e.g. phone, tablet, & laptop is normal – 3 or more of any of these items is not)
    5. Watch the duty revenue come rolling in.
    6. Give up on daft thoughts of trying to keep a register of who owns what – it's none of your business.

     

    * A tamper evident sticker with security features like a customised hologram cannot be transferred to another item. It will desintegrate or leave 'void' markings on the sticker and the object. Examples here: http://www.holograms.org.in/tamper-evident-labels.html

    • Anonymous says:

      Great ideas. Add a Customs service kiosk in the departure lounge for ease of registration and I have no issue with it. 

  47. Anonymous says:

    This could be done very easily …

    http://www.customs.gov.ky

    Step 1:  -> Click Here to Register a  Electronic Device

    Step 2:      Device Type: 

                  -> Mobile Phone  (Selected)

                      Laptop Computer

                      Tablet 

                      Other

    Owner’s Name:  Johnny -I -hate –to- damn -travel

    Email address:  Johnnywhatever@gmail.com

    Brand Name:  Samsung Galaxy S5 (yes I hate Apple)

    Model No:  SM-GN00F

    Serial No.  AB12346789

    ->  Complete Registration

    Registration Completed Successfully !

    Please save the below registration number for your records, as you maybe ask to present it on your return to the Cayman Islands. A copy of the registration receipt number has been sent to the email provided.

    Registration Receipt:  012346789

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      No way in hell am I providing a government agency information I what I plan to travel with on my person. That is notifying thieves what I have in my house. So my next set of items are freely listed for hackers to get the information and choose which house has the newest, nicest and most profitable items to steal. 

      Remove this outdated law and whatever other outdated laws that just don't make financial sense. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Johnny, you going to hell for saying that about apple. No apple, no smart phone Johnny. What are you thinking. Plus hate just ain't good for you. 

    • Anonymous says:

      this is all about hitting expats in the pocket… nothing else. if someone has what looks like a brand new device, then the ever happy and welcoming customs folks should do their blinking jobs and ask the questions that need asking… however, asking EVERYONE to register all the kit they travel with is just a rip off and guess what, its the expats (who pretty much keep the island from being a desolate underdeveloped backwater) who will be hit in the pocket for it!

      • Anonymous says:

        What a racist you are, YOU should be denied entry.

      • Anonymous says:

        20:49.FYI   Caymanians far surpass expats when it comes to paying duty upon arrival in the Cayman Is.Just stating the facts.

        • Anonymous says:

          Facts backed by what? Your gut?

          I'm not Caymanian, I pay duty almost every time I come back to the island (there are some business trips I take where I don't shop) and I have NEVER once seen a Caymanian in queue to pay duty with me, but I have seen other expats.  What I have seen is Caymanians in the "Nothing to Declare" line with 8 suitcases and boxes of televisions, etc. I'm not saying some expats don't try to understate their overseas purchases as well, but I'd like to know where you come up with your shite comment.

        • anonymous says:

          Not the Cayman guy I saw who had two flat screen tv's. One in each hand and through the nothing to declare route!

  48. Fred the Piemaker says:

    customs has always encouraged the completion of this form for passengers to help clear up customs queries when travelers return    I travel a lot, and I can say that I cannot recall a single instance of Customs ever asking me where I acquired a phone, laptop or other electronics when re-entering, or anyone suggesting I should fill out such a form.  This is purely an attempt to squeeze some more duty by trying to close off the practice of people buying electronics in Miami and hand carrying in.  That is perfectly in accordance with the law, of course, but just like the wedding dress fiasco Customs should think through the practicalities and unintended consequences of policies like this before diving in headlong (let alone insulting everyone's intelligence by pretending that this is no more than routine application of existing policy).  First, imagine the chaos if everyone actually did turn up to the airport to try and register their electronics before flying – entering the Customs area in the face of incoming passengers and tieing up the officers trying to inspect luggage and take duty payments – hell, you already have to queue to clear customs pay duty on declared items; imagine if you had to compete with half the passengers on an outbound flight trying to register their I phone.  Second, all the financial service industry professionals that travel on business are going to love adding the inconvenience of having to register all their electronics just to close off the possibility that someone else may skip duty on a laptop or I phone – given the amount they contribute to our economy, *ssing them off puts the damage the wedding dress saga may have had on one segment of our tourist industry in the shade.  Third, how much additional revenue will this actually gain versus the cost of staffing and policing it?  Did anyone at Customs stop and ask themselves why other countries around the world, many of whom used to have policies like this 30 years ago when such items were comparatively rare and relatively expensive, no longer enforce them?  The only people who would benefit from this are the local electronics retailers – oh, wait….

  49. Anonymous says:

    Its a waste of damn time. I travel for work at least once a month & personally every 6 weeks. I have registered before & never been checked coming back for 3 yeats. I travel with 2 phones 2 laptops & an ipad and thats every trip. This law is antiquity at its best & waste of time for everyone both customs officers & travelers. Please direct your energies at making the teavel process more streamlined instead of adding another level of headache.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Where is the form on their website?

      • Anonymous says:

        That form just does not make sense. If I am carrying my ipad and phone I am not exporting them. I am using them, like I will be uing my clothes, hairdryer, toiletries and most of what is in my suitcase. Date of import… we have to remember when we bought our items? I certainly dont know when I bought stuff. Just admit this is a silly idea and move on – like you had the sense to do with the wedding dress duty. Moses, you need to intervene here and talk some sense into this department before its too late.

        • Anonymous says:

          21:48.Exporting has a number of definitios including these two from merriam-webster.com 1. : to carry away : remove. 2. : to carry or send (as a commodity)  I believe definition 1. one applies in this case.FYI the date of importation refers to the date that the item is brought back into the islands.Hope I was able to help.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Johann is doing a fine job of drawing attention to the absurdities that are interfering with Cayman's economy. I completely agree with what he's said here. I am not even sure there is a legal basis for this policy. The law says you pay duty on anything you import, as far as I'm aware it does not say the onus is on us to prove we didn't import it.

    We don't need another queue to stand in at the airport. There are already enough of those.

  52. Anonymous says:

    I hide my electronics in my wedding dress.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Maybe they just need an easier way to do it – if you don't have to appear in person with the form it would be easier to comply. I still have completed forms that I didn't have the opportunity to take in to Customs? And why is it only good for a year – serial numbers don't expire or change.

    • Anonymous says:

      If Customs actually did their job and updated their database when the goods arrive in Cayman via the local retailer and it clears there would be no need for this as the make, model and serial number is checked agaist most if not all invoices that Customs have in their possession.

      But because they are too lazy to have done that for the last 30 years they expect us to now register everything.

      On yer bike.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Are there any other countries where this would be a normal travel requirement?  Cuba?  China? North Korea?  Note to DoT: no amount of free soft cone ice cream can offset moronic policy!

  55. Anonymous says:

    Job creation and paper shuffleing and loosing ……..Cayman Style in the information age.

     

    The islands that forgot to advance with time.

     

     

     

  56. Anonymous says:

    Johann, these business people are just using YOU to tackle and say what they were too afraid to say or did not want to say when their friends were on the other end.

     

    Why is it that the President of the Chamber, who now happens to be Johann, is being asked to tackle these issues NOW on behalf of the Chamber? Why did the Chamber not fight or raise these "30-year-old" Govtissues when Stuart Bostock, David Kirkaldy or Chris Duggan were President?

     

    My bet is the Chamber will become more controversial during Johann's tenure as President, then when someone else is elected, they will become as passive as a squab!

    • Anonymous says:

      Johann is talking sense while the others lacked the courage and leadership qualities to be affective. Proud of you bro keep up the good work and talking the truth.

    • Anonymous says:

      I love squab!:)….taste great in a run-down:)

    • A Member says:

      Johann has done more positive things for the chamber and made it relevant than the last ten presidents combined. It hasn't changed him at all like many who become public officials. Mel would be proud.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is your point in naming these particular three former presidents?

    • Anonymous says:

      09;26

       

      That's because  chambers finally found someone with balls to stand up to the enemy of the state…the government.

       

      Something we all should have the  balls to do.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Why are they creating more work when they cannot keep up with their current workload?

    Why are they making the already stessful travel experience worse?

    Only in Cayman progress means backwards!

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM! (Gotta love um', NOT)

    • Anonymous says:

      09;17

       

      Its all about the 800 million dollar budgit these Islands need to opperate.

    • Peanuts says:

      This is a smoke screen to slip the new Tariff S&%# through. They will drop this and say they listened to the people. Polytricks.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Logic would allow a person a certain number of electronics.

    Logic sadly not abundant in this department.

  59. Anonymous says:



    CNS can you please post the procedure on how we actually register our electronics. I am travelling in the very near future and will have cell phone and ipad. Do I have to physically go to Customs and do this or can it be done online. What information is required, I would hate to go queue to find out I do not have all the information required.

    I totally disagree with his rule, but if it has to be done then they need to let us know how.

    • Anonymous says:

      pick up the phone at the exit to customs next to the taxi desk and let them know you are there to register items

      best to arrive early and do it on the day of departure

    • Anonymous says:

      09 ;14

       

      Are you kidding? do you reallly think they know how to!

      They are only good at collecting revenue. That is the limit to their training. dig your hands as deep into everyone's luggage and take their money.

  60. Anonymous says:

    shouldn't people have to do the smame with jewellery, clothes, golf clubs….etc….

    just another day in wonderland…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm willing to register my underpants if I can get a nice customs lady to look.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Clearly HM Customs Department under Ms. Bennett's leadership (or through her following instructions of some "higher-ups") is hell-bent on increasing beauracracy for users of their services and citizens in general. I trust that the authors of these policies realize and acknowledge that despite their assurances of "smoother" processes, more work will be required by their staff, therefore more time involved and ultimately more costs to administer.

    While CIG just paid millions to have a study conducted to determine how Government can divest services – primarily to cut costs and increase efficiency – HM Customs is implementing procedures which increase their administrative costs (and which will soon be passed on to the public in the next duty increases) and diminish their already challenged efficiency.

    Can't the adminsitrators see this???!!! 

    • Anonymous says:

      And where was Ms Bennett before…Immigration?  A fine example of all things bureaucratic

    • Anonymous says:

      Dont you dare blame Ms. Bennett.

      It's the KGB/ Cayman law makers, dont you ever  be fooled!

  62. Anonymous says:

    They turned on and looked into the files of my computer at customs , what were they looking at ?

    or were they putting on some setting to be able to remotely look at my computer files while sitting in the gate area.

    This tatic is not unheard of and can be done with a couple of key strokes

     

  63. Anonymous says:

    Clearly the Customs service is run by lunatics, as if travellers don't have enough to contend with, now they want us to check in items before we leave. For the love of god wake up Cayman, these petty rules are making us a laughing stock. Instead of chasing innocent travellers, try clamping down on the price fixing, over charging, profiteering thieves who call themselves retailers. Plus, if Customs reduced the tariffs on goods then people wouldn't feel that they needed to conceal items purchased overseas. Punitive taxes, prohibition and overcharging only feeds smuggling and avoidance, make it fair and people will pay the tax and shop in Cayman.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      8;58

       

      And start loading containers at the Port. Stop the stealing from the Citzens.

  64. Young Dissapointed Caymanian says:

    I agreed completely….it is ridiculous to have to register every single electronic item when leaving Cayman. All of a sudden they start implementing this rule and not even tell the public of anything. If you wanted to enforce this rule then when people are going through security, they should have the forms there or inform people of the rule. But no, they do not even say a word and expect us to know we have to do this in order not to get charged when coming back in. I took my laptop back to Canada to get it repaired as that is where I bought it many years ago for schooling and was still under warranty. It took them a month and a half to figure out it was not repair able and by that time I had to leave it there with family as I had to return back to Cayman. Since it was not repairable and it was still under warranty they replaced it with no charge to me. The laptop was fedex to me and when it got into the hands of customs, even though on the invoice and work order it was shipped with that said I paid NOTHING for it, they still charged me 22% on what the laptop was valued at since I did not claim my old one when I took it out.

    All government wants is any money they can find in the deepest of cracks…no wonder people go off island to get new things, Cayman inflates prices way more than needed and expect us to pay it. Young people are going off island for school for better education, realizing how bad Cayman has gotten and not returning. Please do not sit there being surprised when young Caymanians choose not to come back to Cayman, it is your ways that are pushing them to not return and put their education to work and give back to Cayman. I was so excited to return and after living here for a while I can say that I am not excited anymore and want to leave.

  65. One* says:

    The only time I hear from Moxam is when renown business men are being threatened. What about the policies before from last year until now that has effect average people?  I was taxed for buying cheap clothing from Miami and it wasn't pretty.

    • Anonymous says:

      8;49

      You are right, and what about the containers loading in people's yard with stolen goods? have they changed this or they condoning the act of thievery?…shame on them!

    • Anonymous says:

      Wots yer point?

  66. Anonymous says:

    I completely agree with the Chamber – however, if Customs is going to insist on this, the very least they could do is make it easy.  This might be a little too cutting edge for them, but how about make the registration of the equipment online, includng a serial number (the system could send an email back to the registrant with a bar-code that could be scanned when re-entering the country), offer free wifi in the airport with some signage in the aiport reminding people to register their stuff.  I am sure that most people would spend the 5 minutes to register their electronics while waiting to board the plane, IF it were that efficient. 

    Having to physically go somewhere, line up and register equipment?  It is never going to happen, and nor should it.  

  67. Anonymous says:

    Another stupid policy decision by PPM and Customs what's next?

  68. Anonymous says:

    Well said Mr. Moxam your leadership is a breath of fresh air at the Chamber which seemingly had gone stale in recent times.

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree with the position taken by the Chamber of commerce. This is another unnecessary  layer of Government bureaucracy. What happens if I arrived on the Island with a brand new Rolex on my arm–how will this be assessed by Customs, unless it is declared by the person wearing it? Similarly, a new iPad should be treated in the same way– through the honesty of the owner. In the case of the iPad the Custom Officer can check the iPad to determine how long it has been in use. I always travel with my iPad and will invite a Custom Officer to check it out if ever I'm questioned by Customs about not declaring it. It is easy enough to determine how long it has been in use by checking the chronology of items recorded on it.

  69. Sucka Free Cayman says:

    Customs is just as absurd as those who are now running it. I know it wouldn't be long, sadly power attracts those who should be denied it. Saddest part is, the worse is yet to come and  you know things are really really bad when our political caliphate tries to ride on the changes by insinuating their involvement, by citing leadership in successful investigations and busts in which neither their installed henchmen or political mites were even involved. Easy Patna!!!

  70. Ex Expat says:

    SO will all electronics bought on island already be registered, or is customs too lazy for that. I went there to pre-register items as I was catching an early morning flight I went the day before. Only to be told they only register items on the day of travel. After telling them of the early flight, they hung up and when I pressed the button again when noone showed up, the custom guy answers with "are you still there? {{kiss teeth}} well on lunch now so come back in a couple of hours."

  71. Anonymous says:

    I went last week to Customs with a co-worker to register 2 laptops as he was leaving the next day to Aruba. What a joke! We waited in a warehouse for 45 mins till finally a Customs lady on her break decided to help us after being told numerous times " Someone will be right out to help you". If Customs wants you to register there should be a dedicated line as every person leaving here has some sort of device!

  72. Anon says:

    Quite agree. However, from th Customs viewpoint let's face it anyone who wants a new laptop is likely to buy it in Miami and unpack it, set it up, maybe dirty it up a little and bring it back as though it's not new. Hands up who's done that      🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      Me.  Last week.  God I love the Apple store in South Beach.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is inclusive of customs officers.  I know thisto be true!

    • Low tech anwers says:

      Again, there are low-tech simples answers!!  Yes, the "risk" is the laptop purchase in Miami (and it is then packed as used and brought home….)

      Simple solution: When you leave, a tamper-proof sticker is placed on your ipad, iphone, laptop, and if you return with an item without a customs sticker, you are charged 20%.

      No need for day-before-travel registration.  That is actually a big risk in itself to have a database of citizen's personal items (and serial numbers)

      Firstly, Customs must clarify WHY they want tp track outbound personal items.

      Secondly, the details of the items are not important (sorry, but Govt having a record of my serial number is not cricket.)

      Lastly, a simple tamper-proof inventory sticker (as used in most IT departments) is all that is needed.

      Don't overthink this Samantha.  Mr. Moxam is spot on.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets say a 500 people do this per annum. An average laptop costs $750. Duty lost. 500 x $750 = $375,000 x 0.84 = 315,000 x 22.5% = CI $70,875 in revenue.

      So how much will it cost us to register every laptop? My guess is more than $70,875 per annum.

      In addition, if one gets caught carrying one in, without declaring, there is a hefty penality. Catch 50 people and that's $7,087.50 PLUS penalities.

      I'm not saying its right to smuggle in laptops. Its not. But niether is it right to spend $150,000 to earn $70,875. Both are wrong and stupid. And its only because government is doing the latter that wrong and stupid are not illegal.   

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Customs fines for evading duty are normally triple what the duty would have been, plus you pay the duty, so I think you end up paying four times as much if you try to evade Customs duty and are caught.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Customs officialy better wake up, only a matter of time before they kill the goose that lays the golden egg if they keep going maybe the goose will kill them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can someone explain on what they do to tourists that bring in, laptops, ipads, kindles, cameras??????  Whats good for one is good for the other……that will be the last nail in the coffin…the law is the law….or do they make an exception

      • Low tech anwers says:

        Um tourists have their overseas address on their customs forms and a local hotel while visiting.

        Simple:  Returning residents have (just like Miami airport) a "sharpie" X or O on their Customs forms and when you go through to declare your CI$300 duty-free allowance you shpw your tamper-free sricker on your personal ipad, phone, and laptop.  If you do not have a tamper-proof sticker (because it is new or you "forgot" to get one on your way out, you are charged 22%.)

        Of course, visitors smuggling in items will still be a risk, but at least the outbound personal items wold be accounted for?

      • Anonymous says:

        They only charge duty on items you intend to stay in Cayman, so tourists don't get charged as it's assumed that they will take everything home with them.

        Mind you, I'm an expat and don't intend to apply for PR when my work permits run out, so everything I own will leave with me in the end – technically I should only pay duty on whetever I put in the dumpster!

    • Anonymous says:

      It"s all about the money.

      Custom has on their law book  that all out -going containers with  goods should be loaded and documented at the Port Authority.

      Whoever,this hasn't been done,  the citizens have  been begging for protection of their loses.

      Just two weeks ago they uncovered an opperation of thieves and many containers loaded with stolen furnitures , appliances, electronics, tools and equipments.

      For over the past 10 years our citizens have lost millions of dollars worth of their possessions.

      Nothing was changed about loadng those containers in their back yards.

      You get where im coming from? no money in it for the governemt. They remind me of a prositute. Take all the money they can , and to hell with the well fare of the people.

      Look how quick they jumped to register our electronics, the UK never stopped them doing that.

      Another thing, these pawn shops . Our incompentent police force admitted that they are selling stolen goods… what do they do? nothing. They have the power to shut these places down why dont they do it?

  74. Anonymous says:

    I agree totally with the Chamber on this.  One would swear we are going communist! What a pack of crap having to go and register laptops and phones.

  75. Anonymous says:

    First the wedding dress , now this. Do tourists have to register all their electronics on arrival, so they can be checked on departure to leave Cayman with the owner? You need to implement this customs law Samantha, as it will be the new wave in duty dodging for residents. Stop it now !!!!!

    Can you imagine having to register your laptop when you arrive in Miami, so customs can be sure you are not importing an item into the U.S. that may attract duty ? Come on….

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Next  will be phones. 

    • Hear hear says:

      Tourists have return tickets. Caymanians and work permit holders are in Immigration system.  Customs would have to use Immigration system for every departing person at the airport?

       

  76. Anonymous says:

    Yeah!  How am I meant to dodge paying duty on my new laptops and ipads if this absurd policy is enforced?

    • Low tech anwers says:

      Aha, you will not be able to scam anymore, shame on you.  I also want to see real enforcement at Christmastime with all the electronics and overstuffed suitcases that come through.