Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, June 17th: Chiefs of Immigration and Comptrollers of Customs from across the Region have begun deliberations in a Joint Standing Committee Meeting which precedes the launch of the Regional Travel Card System in July 2010.
In the absence of the Executive Director of The CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security Lynne Anne Williams, the Deputy Director, of Projects, Mr. Earl Harris delivered the opening remarks. In his brief address, Harris revealed that apart from its convenience to those travelers who join the Trusted Traveler Regime and its potential to represent regionalism, the CARIPASS, has a significant role to play as an independent source of funds for the development and engineering of critical infrastructure to address the spiraling crime rate in the Region.
Harris underlined the importance of the Meeting stating that major elements of the Travel Card’s implementation and operational process hinged on decisions that would be addressed. He pointed to site readiness and personnel training as key areas that will need attention to ensure an optimum outcome and asked Member States to reiterate their full commitment to the project.
The CARIPASS is designed to facilitate expedited processing through immigration check points across the Region. It will, in the first instance, be implemented in ten CARICOM Member States namely, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. It is expected that the system will eventually be in use in all fifteen CARICOM Member States.