Press Releases

IFC Supports Border Clearance Automation for Regional Integration in the Caribbean

In Washington DC

Vanessa Bauza, IFC
Phone: (202) 458-1603

In Trinidad & Tobago
Alicia Stephens, IFC
Phone: 1-868-628-5074

Roseau, Dominica, May 15, 2014— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today launched a two day regional workshop on streamlining border clearance processes, with the aim of facilitating trade and promoting regional integration in OECS countries. The event is co-hosted by the Ministry of Trade and the Reform Management Unit in Dominica and sponsored by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

IFC designed a new software system that connects customs administrations to border control agencies and allows for a more seamless approval of import declarations. Starting in July, this electronic tool will be installed in Dominica, St Lucia and Grenada. It will replace a paper based system of import clearance, creating a “greener,” faster import approval and payment process. By next  year, it is expected to reduce by two-thirds the number of days it takes to obtain import approvals from Bureaus of Standards.

The regional event – Facilitating Trade through Automation: Integrating Border Agencies – brings together participants from Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis and St Lucia, including senior officials from the Bureaus of Standard, Customs and Ministries of Trade. The aim is to define a strategy to fully automate and integrate border clearances in the region and enhance cooperation among different customs administrations.

“IFC’s support and expertise have been crucial in helping us modernize and automate our processes so that we can offer a better service to the private sector in Dominica as well as realigning our systems and procedures with international standards,” said Dr. Steve John, Director of the Dominica Bureau of Standards. “This peer to peer learning event provides an excellent forum to improve regional integration in the Caribbean through trade logistics reform.”

“Since its inception in 2007, IFC’s Trade Logistics program, has implemented projects in over 50 countries, helping them address bottlenecks, improve the efficiency of border management, and support better coordination among customs agencies,” said Alvaro Quijandria, IFC Regional Manager for Investment Climate in Latin America and the Caribbean. “These reforms can all help fuel economic growth by reducing costs for trade and increasing trade flows.”
Representatives from the OECS Secretariat, Caribbean Development Bank and the Australian High Commission are also attending the workshop, where the region’s development needs in meeting its trade facilitation commitments will be highlighted.  

Since 2000, IFC has committed approximately $2.1 billion in the Caribbean, including $515.8 million in mobilizations. IFC also supports public-private partnerships in energy, transport and logistics infrastructure. We also implement programs to improve the business climate, build the skills of local entrepreneurs, and promote access to finance.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit

Stay Connected