Construction of the Lombard Street site for the scanning of containers is moving apace through a Memorandum of Under-standing (MOU) between the Guyana National Industrial Company (GNIC) Inc and the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
A release from the GRA yesterday said that the site which is slated for completion in January 2018 will enable the GRA to “utilize cutting-edge technology to scan not only imports but also merchandise destined for foreign jurisdictions which meet the criteria for trading with some of Guyana’s major partners”. The release pointed out that the United States requires universal scanning of all containers entering that jurisdiction.
The release said that the GRA became somewhat limited in this capacity after the stationary scanner at the Guyana National Shipping Corporation (GNSC) Lombard St location became inoperable in 2014 and the mobile x-ray imaging scanner acquired in 2014 also encountered “some operational challenges” during last year.
The mobile X-ray imaging scanner will be sited at the location being prepared together with a new fixed container scanner which is being purchased through grant-aid from China, and projected to become operational by mid-2018.
The release said that the acquisition of container scanners will complement the efforts by the GRA to reduce trade transaction costs and time, improve international competitiveness and promote international maritime security and safety. In pursuit of these objectives and the estimated projected increase in container traffic, the GRA has been having ongoing discussions with wharf-owners and other stakeholders in investing in such equipment so that container scanning will form part of their routine operations.
In May of this year, it had been stated that a permanent location had still not been found for the container scanner. The issue had been raised at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing at the Public Buildings
Ingrid Griffith, then Deputy Commissioner-General of GRA related that the GRA had been granted permission to utilize the National Park for the purpose of container scanning but the operation resulted in damage occurring to the facility. She stated then that efforts were being made to have the operation relocated to GNIC.