The Montserrat Integrated Border Security Unit (IBSU) hasÂ issued some guidelines aimed at accelerating the processing time for persons arriving intoÂ the island.
The recommendations have been issued in light of the increased arrivals expected for theÂ St. Patrickâ€™s week of activities which begin on March 9 to 19, 2018.
The IBSU said it is looking at ways to process arriving passengers in a smooth and timelyÂ manner. As such, the Unit is encouraging travelers, especially those arriving by Ferry, toÂ complete their Immigration and Customs Declaration Forms before arrival, and to labelÂ their â€˜checked luggageâ€™.
To complete the form, individuals are required to fill in the requested information on bothÂ the immigration and customs sections before arrival. The Immigration and CustomsÂ Declaration Forms are given to passengers once checked in at the airline or ferry agents inÂ Antigua. By completing the forms, the IBSU said delays will be reduced and processingÂ will be done in a timely manner when passengers meet with Immigration Officers on arrival.
For family members traveling together, each member of the family is required to completeÂ the immigration section. The head of the family should complete the customs section of theÂ form for all children under the age of 18, who are part of the family.
The IBSU further advices that passengers leaving the island are required to keep theÂ â€˜Departure Recordâ€™ (Section B) of the Immigration Form which will be returned to them byÂ the Immigration Officer upon arrival. It is important that this section is kept safe, as it willÂ allow for timely processing at the time of departure.
Individuals traveling with â€˜checked luggageâ€™ are asked to ensure that each item/bag isÂ labelled correctly for easy identification on arrival on Montserrat and will facilitateÂ passengers taking possession of their luggage in a timely manner and proceed to customsÂ checks. The IBSU stated that bags on the Ferry are not normally tagged in the sameÂ manner as airline luggage, therefore it is the passengers responsibility to mark/label theirÂ luggage.
While efforts are being made to facilitate processing times with immigration and customs,Â passengers are reminded that Customs Officers reserve the right to check or makeÂ enquiries of any item being brought into the island. Therefore, travelers are asked toÂ ensure that they are familiar with what they have in their possession and where necessaryÂ have the relevant accompanying paper work.
The Montserrat IBSU is comprised of Immigration and Customs Frontline Border Officers.