OFFICERS attached to three State agencies which handle the importation of goods walked off the job at Customs House, Port of Spain, yesterday, following complaints about working conditions.
Employees of the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards, the Chemistry, Food and Drug Division and the Ministry of Trade left their posts at the Customs Long Room at Customs House, Abercromby Street, after they were not relocated.
The officers said the windows and roof in their part of the building are in need of repair and there are leaks when it rains.
As a result, Customs brokers have, for the past two days, been forced to visit these agencies at their base locations to have import documents processed, causing massive delay, the Customs Brokers' Association said yesterday.
The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers' Association (TTMA) yesterday expressed concern that members of the business community were experiencing "significant problems" with the processing of import documents, as the staff of the three Government agencies were not at the Customs and Excise Division in Port of Spain.
"As a result... business people now have to go to three separate locations in order to complete their transactions, which results in inefficient service delivery and delays in the movement of goods," the TTMA said in a statement yesterday.
"This situation is likely to interfere with the progress made thus far in achieving the stated goal of improving the ease of doing business, in particular the implementation of the Single Electronic Window, which is aimed at streamlining the processes for import and export."
The TTMA called on the Ministers of Trade and Finance to take the necessary action to "resolve the issue as soon as possible, in order to ensure the smooth flow of operations. This matter warrants urgent resolution ahead of the impending peak Christmas season".