The Caribbean is watching the Cayman Islands as they work towards becoming a world-class service in border control and protection.

Since the merger of the Immigration Department and Customs Department to become the Cayman Islands Customs & Border Control, the Director of Customs & Border Control, Mr. Charles Clifford and some of his Deputies have travelled throughout the Caribbean and addressed members of the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council’s Executive Committee meeting in St Lucia, the Jamaica Customs Agency Senior Management Team meeting in Jamaica and the CARICOM IMPACS Meeting of Chiefs of Immigration and Customs in Grenada. Information and insight on how the merger was executed was shared.

Given the significant regional interest and engagement on the merger the presentation was also included on the agenda at the 41st Annual Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council Conference held in Havana, Cuba last month. Topics included the mission of the CBC and the new areas of focus including the transition to an intelligence-led organisation.

The Director expressed that the merger is a multi-year undertaking and is managed by  a Steering Group  and a number of Working Sub Groups. The Steering Group ensured the operational structure and plans were in place to effect the merger and it also has oversight of the Sub Groups. By taking a look at the past and researching how border protection works in the UK and USA, the Cayman Islands Customs & Border Control was able to form relationships with international partners to further ensure that any potential threats to the islands are addressed ahead of the border thus ensuring impactful enforcement outcomes.

In commenting on the considerable interest in the merger of our Customs and Immigration agencies, Director of CBC Charles Clifford said “I am pleased to see the level of interest and engagement across the region on this initiative.  As I have said previously, the operational merger is a multi-year project and once completed it will allow for more efficient deployment of our resources.”  

Mr. Clifford continued, “At each presentation, we were quick to point out that we are not experts at mergers but we are happy to share with our regional colleagues the methodologies and strategies which we employed to achieve the merger and the things that we would perhaps do differently were we starting over today.”