Customs clamp down on bounced cheques

| 07/11/2016 | 25 Comments
Cayman News Service

Charles Clifford, Cayman Islands Collector of Customs

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Customs Department has announced a change in policy and has plans to stop accepting personal cheques at all of its collection points from next Monday, 14 November. The department will take cash, bank drafts, or credit and debit cards in either CI or US dollars but the number of bounced cheques is proving too much and harming collection, officials said.

“We have changed our policy upon identifying a significant risk to government revenue due to receiving a number of dishonoured cheques,” said Collector of Customs Charles Clifford. “We apologise for any inconvenience this change might cause some of our customers, especially those who are always law-abiding.”

Acting Deputy Collector Kevin Walton, who heads the Customs Revenue Collection Portfolio, said people who knowingly tender ‘bad’ cheques are committing a criminal offence and liable to prosecution. “We are looking forward to smoother collection of revenue as a result of the policy change, notably during the upcoming busy season,” he said.

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Category: Local News

Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why is it I hear all of these mediocre press releases from HM Customs. When are they really going to report some serious news of their operations like drug hauls, smuggling of goods and fraudulent cases of duty evasion!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Has Customs considered the other side of this and risk of handling so much cash on its premises and how security will need to be stepped up with twice daily pick ups. Can you imagine clearing a car and paying $10K in cash! of course a debit card is an option but is this really better? I understand that once you pass a bad cheque at Gov you are then on the treasury list for a year and cannot submit cheques after that.

    Why isn’t Customs following this policy and having cashiers check the list! really how big of an issue is it for Customs, Immigration, Planning, Licensing etc. send us the numbers CNS FOI. Does the Bank charges for this weigh out the risk on 2% on all transactions which is lost monies for the Gov.

  3. Anonymous says:

    SMH. We haven’t heard from the collector of Customs since he was appointed the top job. and he surfaces to tell us that Customs will no longer accept cheques. I think your huge salary demands a little more than this, what are you doing to protect our borders? How are you keeping the drugs & guns from reaching our shores? Is Customs only concerned with collecting taxes? If this is the priority then we will always have social issues here because drugs & guns brings more crime, people becoming addicts etc. All that tax revenue will be spent in court costs, rehab, social services & loss of tourism. The headlines on a daily basis is about shootings, robberies by gun point, drug possession whether using or selling. A lot more could be done to keep drugs and guns from getting through our points of entry (by sea, air travel & cargo).

  4. Anonymous says:

    Just stop taking cheques from any person or business that passes a bad cheque. Do not release any goods even for cash until that person has paid up a bad cheque.

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      Seems like a fairly simple solution, no? Involves one person compiling a list of bad cheque writers.

  5. Paul says:

    Be interesting if it was considered that with potentially more cash transactions now in the Customs Offices the loses may in fact be greater.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Cheques in Europe went out with the dinosaurs…we should all be electronic banking, will save man hours, traffic, crime…what’s the issue?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CNS for spelling it ‘cheques’ and not ‘checks’ as they have in the story on another media outlet.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s just the cost of doing business! Have you ever heard the term “a few bad apples spoil the lot” well that’s exactly what has happened. It’s a shame though that honest individuals will no longer have the choice of paying by cheque – perhaps Customs should arrange to display a whiteboard and attach the bounced cheques to it until the individuals responsible come forward and pay the outstanding amount plus the bounce charge and then their cheque will be removed from the whiteboard. Don’t inconvenience everyone!

    • itcostmealot says:

      Why waste time putting up a whiteboard and attaching bounced cheques? Cheques as a whole over next few years will eventually phased out.

      Its 2016 people.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Help me out here when I go to clear my import and am told it x $ I have to leave go to the bank withdraw cash then go back to pay them?

  10. Anonymous says:

    All Govt. departments should stop accepting personal cheques. [Compass note the correct spelling]. Put the entire government card acceptance business out to tender with the banks for a 5 year contract.

  11. Anonymous says:

    CNS, thank heavens you uphold the correct spelling of the word CHEQUE (used in the context of legal tender) in this British Overseas Territory. It seems however other media as evidenced in today’s Compass are keen to Americanise everything here, by not even paying attention to such subtleties. We do not want to be the United States of America, as shown by their election campaign and other woes.

  12. Caymanian monkey says:

    RBC must be really happy with this. 1% and 2% charging government for all debit and credit card charges.
    I suppose there are going to be some hidden fees by customs now, if not why is government allowing this, giving a bank millions a year I processing fees.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Customs Department should not be allowed to single itself out as being above having to deal with the problem of bounced checks. Yes it is a crime to issue a bounced check but payment by check remains a legal and accepted way of doing business in Cayman. Fine the criminals, jail the criminals, do whatever you have to do to curb the crime and punish the offenders, but don’t tell us you’re above dealing with the problem like everyone else and to the detriment of your honest customers.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Maybe if you had prosecuted people intentionally writing bad cheques, the innocent would not have to be inconvenienced. That I can still pay customs with wads of hundred dollar bills is however truly ironic!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wa, u sey ma money is no gud, no sir, u is outta line, dis is my cuntry.

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