Customs to launch online registration of devices

| 08/08/2014

(CNS): Registering electronic devices when leaving the Cayman Islands is not mandatory, the premier stressed at a press briefing Thursday, and said that there were other ways to prove to customs when residents re-entered the Cayman Islands that devises such as iPads, iPhones and laptops were not new, such as data sent, received or stored before the traveller left the islands. However, registration would provide the owner with proof of when it was purchased if they were questioned by a customs officer, he said. Following the press briefing, the collector of customs told CNS that the customs department will be offering an online submission of the process to register items effective next Monday, 11 August. 

The modification of the current form to allow for registration will be completed over the next couple of days, according to Collector of Customs Samantha Bennett. She said the new form will list the locations where it can be submitted for those who choose to do the process manually and it will also outline the process to submit electronically. 

When the process is in place, people submitting forms electronically must also provide two pictures one of the item to be registered and the other picture of the serial code on the item (if applicable). However, Bennett said that customs will require that the electronic submission to be done 24 hours before travel to allow for processing. A confirmation will be emailed back to the owner from customs once the item has been processed and registered, she explained. 

“Again, we want to reiterate that the registration processes outlined above are not mandatory,” Bennett said. “However, it will be up to the passenger to prove to a customs officer (if asked) upon their return to the Island that duty is not applicable.”  

The link of the modified process will be available here. The form will outline several customs locations for people to submit the form with the item and these include: 

  • Airport: 6am-11pm (everyday)
  • Courier Section, Post Office, Seaport, Headquarters: 8.30-4pm (Monday to Friday)
  • Collections Office: 8.30-4pm (Monday to Friday) 8.30-12pm (Saturday)
  • Cayman Brac Airport: 6am-11pm (everyday)
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  1. Anonyanmous says:

    Far too many people evading paying their duties, stop cheating government of their duties, stop bringing in excessive cigaretts to be sold, stop bringing in over the limit liquor and not declaring it, stop bring in new electronics and not paying the proper duties, stop bringing in goods that you have not declared then you won't have to berate the customs department for doing their job. Duty Cheaters stop stealing!

    • Anonymous says:

      What utter rubbish you write.  Let's start with your first sentence.  What evidence can you offer to support your claim of 'far too many people?'

  2. Anonymous says:

    For Customs to spend even a single second developing these forms, developing online capabilities, resources to gather this data, etc. Ms. Bennett shows there is a gaping hole in her brain. This is your priority??? This is where you put your resources to work??? OMG!!! Do I need to mention where Customs should putting 200% of their efforts? Or should we just replace you???

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just change the damn law..It is stupid..No where else in the world does somebody get charged duty for carrying a cell phone or their lap top..

    Makes Cayman look stupid..

    • Anonymous says:

      And of course these places have income tax take duty off electronics and collect it where?

    • Anonyanmous says:

      There would be no need to change the law if people were honest and declare what they bought while overseas. If you brought it overseas you are entitled to pay the taxes, stop  stealing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Draconian. PPM on the wrong track. 

    • Anonyanmous says:

      PPM on the right track by collecting the duties owed, you on the wrong track for not paying the duties that you owe, stop stealing!

  5. Anonymous says:

            If Government is really interested in collecting more duties ,they should stop extending the personal duty allowance to work permit holders and their dependents.This would only be extended  to holders of Caymanian Status and permanent residents.

    • Anonymous says:

      You're a fool!

    • Anonymous says:

      You have got to be kidding.Remember,Every stick has2 ends.

    • Anonymous says:

      I came through the airport last week, every furrener had declared everything-it was Caymanians being stopped and questioned. I wonder why.

      • Anonymous says:

         10:29.Hate to be so blunt,but you are obviously lying. There is no way for you to know what  every foreigner had declared.Explain how you were able to see  that "every furrener had declared everything",certainly you could not see every card ,or know what was in every bag.If you are going to tell a lie ,try not to make it so obvious.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seems to me that you will never be satisfied until the GOvernment gives all things free.


      Then you will complain because they make no money to pay the bills.

      You and other expats would not have come here unless it was a financial advantage for you.

      In the end while you all tell caymanians you will leave that will only occur when you really start losing money.

      • Anonymous says:

        13:52.   I believe the poster Sun, 10/08/2014 – 05:04.was suggesting that Government start collecting duty on the full amount brought in by work permit holders .and to stop giving them the same duty free allowance as Caymanians.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This isn't mandatory. The law is archaic. Efficiency for customs is pathetic. Public opinion of customs is the worst ever. You better put my suggestion in place about the sexy male and female customs officers and quick. Throw in some practical ways to collect revenue which isn't through charging nonsense fees. Change the uniform to something sexy.  Look for drugs and stolen goods. Leave the illegal 'novelty items/back massagers' alone. 

    For some people enforcing this law will be the straw on the camels back. On it's own, no big deal. Mrs. Bennett is only following what she is told. She is short sighted. The politicians and the rest in charge should have a global view and look at all the little annoying things that the community has to endure. Fix them. It is bad international publicity. It is bad morale for residents. Locals and expats alike. It looks bad when tourists see that residents are scrutinized so much. Why would they want to live here? Purchase a home and come for extended vacations when they too would be subject to such nonsense? Look at the big picture. Not just this silly law in isolation. 

    • Anonyanmous says:

      The US, Canada, UK, Australia and other first and third world countries do much more to protect their borders than Cayman and you have the guts to gripe about customs doing their job.  I can see that you are one of those lawbreakers and cheats just by your comments.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Compass has misguided and errored in their reporting once again.  It is not mandetory by law and  it does not apply  to tourists or bussiiness vistors needing to register the items.  It is a facility offered for residents ………………optional I say optional. 

    What is it with  Compass and Gov Depts…… or Gov in general………..

    Lets talk about real issues……. Dump, Unemployment,  education

    LEGGAE get th facts straight before  your pint your inaccurate stories!


    • Anonymous says:

      Cell phones, ipads, Laptops, kindles etc… Sould all be duty free like cameras and books. After all,  they are educational pieces of equipmnet. The little bit of revenue that is collected from personal electronics is far superseded by the cost of monitoring and trying to control them. 


      • Anonyanmous says:

        Cell phone, ipads, Laptops, Kindles etc should all be duty free, NO, NO, NO, the are not all used for education and you know that very well.  You pay duties on cigaretts now pay it on electronics it costs much more than smokes.

  8. noname says:

    I  regsitered my items last week at the Head office  location…….. no issue what's the fuss aout.

  9. L. Powery says:

    It is sad that so much attention is being placed on a process that was provided as optional.  What is with the Cayman Compass  and the Customs?  Every other day is article abot Customs ……my gosh we have ore important concerns to wory about here in Cayman!

    Bottom line is the  process of registering items is not just for electonics itis ther for repairs, and also replacements so says the form.  Why do we think its only for electronics??

    I understand fom a  friend that works at Customs that  weekly they have persons trying to pass off their electronics as old only to have prchased the on their current trip.  Maybe they should put this out  Stats and then Cayman will wake up.  Customs is only doing their job until the Government sees fit to allow eletonics duty free they have an obigation to ensure duties that duties are  collected upon arival 

    The fact that they have now added the online registron  is good……. technology advancemet.

    Now Cayman Compass move on to the real  issues……………..


  10. Anonymous says:

    These people in these positions are going to make the Government of the Day so unpopular that comes the next election they will not want to see nor hear of them. Wake up Alden and put these out and use people that are not on a big HISH. Thats what it is all about.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of time to try an administer an old antiquated law such as this 🙁  So diappointed to know that these politicians can't come up with no better money making ideas for Govt.

    I hope and pray that  people remember all of the crap that is being pushed down their throats by this Govt and vote them out of a big fat paycheck.

    Here are some of the things I have on my checklist. I will be monitoring closely and I trust others are too.

    OMOV, George Town Landfill, Crime Up, Customs wasting people time, Immigration and Unemployed Caymanians.




  12. Anonymous says:

    When was the law changed where the accused is to prove his innocence?  I think Ms Bennett you need to rethink this.  If you think I owe duty on something then show me the proof.

    Secondly lets just suppose everyone who travels registers their multitude of devices online as you propose.  This could potentially be hundreds of items everyday and you have promised a response to each one.  This can only mean you have staff hanging around with nothing to do already?  

  13. Anonymous says:

    Dumbest thing other than electing this present government.

  14. Hancock says:

    I have an electronic toothbrush. Do I need register it. CNS please advise.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have a personal electronic massage device. It's well used. Does that count?

  15. Anonymous says:

    The Customs department is doing a good job, we are now living in different times and people have changed.  Customs have the responsibility of keep our borders safe by all means necessary even  if it means having delays sometime.  Far too many people in the past have cheated the government out of needed revenues now it is time to pay up, too many criminals were let in because the system was too lax.  I have no problem in declaring my electronics.  I have uploaded this Border Security Australia for all to see notice what can happen with some people who bring in computers without being noticed by customs, the same thing that happen on this show has happened in Cayman.

  16. Michel says:

    Almost too funny. Who comes out with these ideas that cost more to do then the fines that would be paid or to administrate all this. I thought Govt. was trying to save money. I guess the budget @ H.M.Customs is huge.

  17. Anonymous says:

    They can’t even get there online site work now. How are they going to get this to work.

    Come on this is a 30yr old law.. am and it MLS now! And then customs don’t have a choice…

  18. Anonymous says:

    Spineless fool.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Let me get this straight – It isn't mandatory to register your electronics, but you must be able to prove you don't owe duty. How exactly do you prove that unless you've registered your electronics???

  20. Anonymous says:

    Listening to Marco Archer and Samantha Bennett this morning trying to justify silly decisions with the typical arrogance of out of touch big wigs is further proof that Cayman's best days are behind us. Apparently everyone else is wrong except them. Next time try some humility and listening before blaming others for poor management decisions and policies that make no sense to people.

  21. Knot S Smart says:

    I am sure this will be just as successful as the customs coding system and the wedding dress fiasco…

    And they are awfully silent about the container seizures a few weeks back – did they actually find stolen goods?  or did they expose us to liability and another lawsuit with these container seizures?

  22. Anonymous says:

    I need to buy a second Blackberry so that I can take a picture of the first Blackberry!

  23. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of time.

  24. Anonymous says:

    So you need to stay in Miami at least 24 hours to give you time to register your purchase.

    • Hear hear says:

      Too funny. Too true. So I buy my new laptop overseas. Go online and register it and then come home?

      Samantha & Marco are you listening?

      the only simple answer is to tag on the way out …. Simple (duh.)

      • Anonymous says:

        Except your flight details will show you left Cayman before you registered. Duh!

        • Hear hear says:

          Um, go on the online registration sight (DuH) no flights.  The issue is that there are holes and the.smugglers can find them. I won't give hints to aid the offenders….

          agree 100% people have been smuggling as a matter of normal routine and it is wrong! Every shopping trip I take to Miami I declare my allowance and give kudos to Customs to crack down on the smuggling.  Just think, if every returning resident hides their due then they are smuggling and stealing from our people.  Don't want income tax or property tax ? Then pay your duty and don't break the law! 

          I always found it shameful to watch overloaded families return after Christmas and say "nothing to declare" with flat screen TVs & brand new jeans and laptops….shame!  What kind of ethics are you teaching YOUR children? 


  25. Anonymous says:

    Customs and CIG has it all wrong.

    They continue to target the private citizens of this island while continuing to coddle up to big business. Has anyone seen any positive impact of the recent duty reductions for business? I didn't think so. That went straight to the pockets of the greedy businesses who now have the audacity to band together and asking for more (see the recent Chamber demands labelled "proposals" 

    Duty concessions, exemptions, and other give-aways abound for businesses while the man on the street is suffering and now faces yet more red tape. 

  26. Wrong Way says:

    This is an arcane and overbearing approach to revenue collection by Customs and the CIG . Serious privacy concerns also arise. 


  27. Dave says:

    What a complete waste of time, customs are continuing to embarrass themselves with their out of date rubbish. Does any other country require its citizens to declare used goods when they leave on vacation?

    • Anonymous says:

      Does any other country depend on import duty as an alternative to direct taxation?

    • Anonymous says:

      On a quick Google search, I found similar provisions for the USA, UK, Canada and South Africa –  if I could have been bothered to look at page two of the search results, I would probably have found more. The purpose of these provisions are to assist people who may have lost original receipts etc, prove that they owned the property prior to travelling, rather than to increase customs revenue. I suspect that the original intention was the same here, but it appears that HM Customs has apparently presented it as a requirement, either through misunderstanding of the original intent or through incompetent presentation of the initiative.

      The main difference appears to be that all these countries aim to make the process as easy and time-efficient as they can. HM Customs need to look at their processes and do the same. On-line registration should have been up and running before the initiative was publicised.

  28. Absurdity Incorporated says:

    Power unfortunately attracts those who should be denied it . Do you ever notice how government thrives on failure????

  29. Anonymous says:

    I have bought 2 Apple products, 1 from the Local Mac store and the other 1 from Cable and Wireless.  

    I spent my hard earned money shopping local to support the local economy.  Now I am being forced by government to prove my purchases or they will charge me duty!  

    This is out of control and I hope one day I am stopped.  I have not given anyone a proper cussing in a long time but this makes me infuriated.  The audascity the government officials have with these policies equal King George III with double taxation without representation dating back to the American Revolutionary war.  

    Instead of burdening the citizens of this country with more taxes, why don't the politicians get off their "fat" backsides and make this country prosper again.  Cannot squeeze the citizens of this country any longer because we are broke.

    Wake up and go earn some real money!!


  30. Anonymous says:

    LOL, take pictures!!  Perhaps we should all hold the devices against a copy of that day's Cayman Compass as well eh?

  31. Hear hear says:

    Um, with all the home break-ins I'd rather not let anyone in a government department know when my family is leaving the island.

    I also do not want to resgister what makes and models my fancy gadgets are and how many I own in my household.  Sorry, but both my travel plans and my personal possessions have no place in a Customs database!

    if you want to tag my personal items on the way out, fine. Also, it is a silly idea to check laptops for usage as they come in- all my email and photos are in the cloud and it took 10 minutes to load on my new laptop and iphone.

    All for paying duty on duty owed and adhering to my allowances and rules, but make it fair, easy, secure (!) and easy.



  32. Anonymous says:

    So now, before you pick up your electronics in Miami from Ebay, have the seller sent you 2 pictures.

    This system actually does the opposite of what it is intended to do.

    Don't forget, buying overseas, pay duty and shipping, is still cheaper than buying local.

  33. Anonymous says:

    A hell of a place to live or visit if one is to expect Customs SS that would automatically assume that honest people are lying on their declaration cards and then detain and harrass these passengers without any probable cause, like they are entering a prison camp.  Seriously.  The year is 2014 and laptops don't cost $4000 anymore.  Please update your mission criteria.  What happened to the DOT's effort to put a friendly face on Customs and Immigration?  I guess that effort expired after a month and govt employees automatically default back to their miserable settings and feel they need to share that feeling on first contact.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Absolute nonsense, try fining those who are profiteering and ripping off customers in Cayman. Open up the market to outside retailers and impose business taxes on them to ensure CI benefits from their profits. Shopping here is ridiculous, too few shops, too little choice and too many family monopolies, no wonder people shop abroad.

  35. Anonymous says:

    This is what happens when stupid people get to make the rules and then its left up to them to fix the stuppid rules when its pointed out to them. Why can't they at least be smart enough to copy other countries?????

  36. Anonymous says:

    This is hilarious. Instead of making it better they add insult to injury. More bureaucracy, just what a welcoming Cayman Islands needs. If they had any sense they would drop all taxes, make this the place to come for electronics as well as jewellery and raise an annual tax on the businesses that sell this devices. More money kept in Cayman, more jobs, more attractions, no illegal import problem, friendlier place all around!

  37. Anonymous says:

    LOL that sound you are hearing is the PPM and Customs reversing from their positions 

  38. Anonymous says:

    It keeps getting worst !!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Like your command of English?

    • Archie says:

      I think your use of comparatives and superlatives is the worse.

    • Anonymous says:

      As does your spelling!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Does this mean that Cayman Airways pilots and cabin crew will have to register their cell phones every time they fly to Miami?

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with the Premier that proof of the origin of an electronic devise (be it an ipad, iPhone, etc.), can (when necessary) be verified by the Customs Officer/s by checking the dates of the transactions which occurred on the devise prior to the departure of the passenger from the Cayman Islands. Further, while focus is being placed by Customs on the importation of electronic items, one would think that this basic principle could also apply to items such as jewelry and other personal effects. However, other than through the honesty of the travelling public, for example, how would any Custom Officer be able to determine beyond a reasonabe doubt that the clothing worn by a passenger coming through Customs was not taken with him or her when they departed the Cayman Islands. While I strongly encourage the travelling public to always be honest with the declaration of dutiabe items brought into these Islands, I would also remind Custom Officers that they should, at all times, be respectful in the performance of their duties.