Transforming To Serve You Better

What has happened recently

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is encouraging Vincentians to utilize the point-of-sale or E-payment system which is available at the department when paying for services.

The use of the point-of-sale system at various government departments is part of the Digital Transformation Project being undertaken by the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines to improve the way they conduct business with the public.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is currently being positioned to make better use of advancing technologies to strengthen the economy of this country through improved efficiency in the way government conducts business with the public.

The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is investing in digital transformation for the smooth and effective delivery of public services through the Caribbean Digital Transformation Program (CARDTP).

A presentation of the draft market assessment report of the Caribbean Digital Transformation Project (CARDTP) was held on Thursday, 8th December, 2022 at the NIS Conference room, where stakeholders were gathered for a one-day consultation. The project which is being commissioned by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), is geared towards creating a digital infrastructure through skills training, capacity building, consultations and market assessment.

The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has successfully piloted its point-of-sale system at three locations, CIPO, Inland Revenue Department, and the Customs and Excise Department. The Customs and Excise Department spans the length and breadth of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, thus for a start, only the Kingstown, AIA, and Campden Park locations currently offer the service. Within the coming months, the Government will expand this service across other departments. The Inland Revenue Department leads the way regarding the number of transactions done and is closely followed by the Customs and Excise Department.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is now the second Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) member state to introduce new legislation governing the telecommunications sector.

The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is piloting its point-of-sale payment system for a number of its services. Commencing October 25, 2022, citizens will be able to pay for services utilizing credit and debit cards at Customs and Excise, Inland Revenue Department, and the Commerce and Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). To benefit from this enhanced payment service, citizens are always required to have a valid form of identification.

In 2021, the Customs and Excise Department has been able to maintain its revenue levels despite the many hurdles including the rise in freight charges, volatility of oil prices on the global market and La Soufriere volcanic eruption of April 2021. The commitment and dedication of the entire staff of the department were highlighted during the eruption as they toiled from Sunday to Sunday to ensure the smooth importation of relief goods. The department had to further withstand the test of the COVID-19 pandemic and navigated the rough waters even when the workforce had limited numbers. It is a true depiction of resilience and the efforts of the staff must not go unnoticed but rather be commended.  Despite the many challenges, the department through mitigating management strategies was able to collect approximately EC$3 million for the month of December. This is an unprecedented number and goes down as the highest revenue collection for such month in any fiscal year to date.

The Customs and Excise Department is committed to carrying out its mandate with the same level of tenacity but with greater efficiency through the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Caribbean Digital Transformation Project (CARDTP). It is expected that upon the completion of the project, the department will have an Electronic Single Window for Trade (ESWFT) to manage the regulatory processes impacting importation and exportation. It is true that the current system is not free of shortcomings as traders have to contend with visits to multiple departments whether it be to obtain permits or papers to complete a transaction. However, it is the objective of the single window to address these issues and increase efficiency in trade through time and cost savings for traders interacting with Government authorities across economic borders.