The Customs & Border Control (CBC) Service has implemented a more streamline approach to the Appointment of Agent (AOA) process when importing goods using an Agent.
CBC recognized that the manual process allowed for possible duplication and that there was a risk of personal information being shared with a third party. Some Agents also expressed a challenge in keeping up with the amount of manual forms they received, which took time to be processed and sometimes caused a delay in clearing goods.
As a result, most Agents requested that CBC automate the process to allow the importer to assign their Agent electronically instead of completing a manual form and waiting for it to be approved and then processed.
The need to assign an Agent is in accordance with section 41 (1) of the Customs and Border Control Act (2021 Revision). This legal requirement is the basis upon which CBC requires importers to appoint an Agent who is doing business on their behalf.
The old process required importers to download a copy of the AOA form from the CBC website or it was provided to them by their Agent. The form then needed to be completed by importer and a copy of a government issued ID was required to complete the process. The form and ID documents would then be sent to their Agent, who would then submit the documents to CBC for approval. These steps were required for each Agent the importer used. For example, if an importers used 3 Agents, then 3 different forms were required.
The new automated process is for new persons registering with the Customs Online System (COLS). It allows for importers to easily comply with the CBC Act using technology.
It gives the importer the control to appoint as many Agents as they intend to use, to remove Agents they no longer use or update these when necessary. Importers now have the freedom to complete the process online from anywhere in the world at their convenience.
This new process manages the risk of personal information being shared with third parties and allows for the process to be more expedient and less likely for a delay in the process.
For importers who need help in using the Customs Online System (COLS), CBC offers a Customer Support Centre and persons can call 649-4579 or email CBCOnlineSupport@gov.ky for assistance.
It is important to note that CBC’s technology systems are being implemented in phases, so from time to time there will be enhancements and changes to systems in order to improve customer experience.
Visit www.cbc.gov.ky to review the instructions on how to register with CBC and appoint an Agent/s.