Sunday 17 June, 2018

Online Immigration and Customs Declaration (C5) form coming

Passengers travelling through the island’s international airports are soon to have the option of being processed with an online version of the Immigration and Customs Declaration (C5) form.

The soon-to-be-launched initiative is a collaboration involving the Passport, Citizen and Immigration Agency (PICA) and the Jamaica Customs Agency, which National Security Minister, Robert Montague, says will become operational in February.

Montague said the system was developed in-house by PICA and Jamaica Customs at a cost of approximately $8 million, representing savings of more than $53 million.

The minister, in commending PICA on its 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. Processing online landing forms will bring Jamaica up to speed with our partners and greatly reduce the average waiting time in our immigration halls...”

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 more flexible, easier and more 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 $5 million travelers 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 the system is just one of a number of initiatives that are in the works to enhance travel facilitation while securing the nation’s borders. It lays a foundation for future implementation of more efficient and flexible electronic systems, such as e-Gates.

Other recent initiatives that are aimed at strengthening Jamaica’s borders and improving service delivery include the use of facial recognition software, which has resulted in the identification of 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 its customers.