BARBADOS WILL ABOLISH IMMIGRATION CUSTOMS FORMS STARTING IN SEPTEMBER

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[Caribbean News]
Barbados Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson: “We have eliminated the ED cards from September 1. Cabinet made that decision at last Thursdays' meeting. We have 48 kiosks now; there were 16 and we got another 32 and they were installed last month and are working effectively."
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Edmund Hinkson, above, Barbados' Minister of Home Affairs, announced the island will eliminate immigration/customs forms starting September 1.

Passengers arriving at the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados will no longer be required to fill out immigration/customs forms, also known as ED forms, as of September 1 after a recent Cabinet decision gave the nod for the use of the forms to be scrapped.

According to Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson, starting next month, there will be a full transition to the use of the 48 kiosks at the airport.

“We have eliminated the ED cards from September 1. Cabinet made that decision at last Thursdays' meeting," said Hinkson. "We have 48 kiosks now; there were 16 and we got another 32 and they were installed last month and are working effectively. I am not going to tell Barbadians that there will be perfection and that the systems will never break down, but we have backup facilities, redundancies in other computer equipment, in terms of saving the information.”

Hinkson also said the Cabinet has added more into the system.

“Right now, on the ED card, persons are asked to put in their address, length of stay in Barbados, type of accommodation, zip code," said Hinkson. "We are going to add some questions to the kiosks that will still allow for the acquisition of that information.”

He also added that the speed of the process will depend on the size of the travelling party and on the capability of the individual.

“Right now, the questions in there take an average of a minute to a minute and a half. Obviously, it depends on how technically challenged you are," said Hinkson. "Also, a single person would take a shorter…time than a couple or a family of four. But everyone who has used it has said that it is tremendous and that it has made life much easier for entering Barbados.”

Hinkson advised that the kiosk system has been tested for almost a year and has been fine-tuned to ensure that the passenger information gathering system meets all the markers for Customs, Immigration & the Statistical Services.

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