CARIPASS to Facilitate Intra-regional Travel

The first phase of the Caribbean Travel Pass (CARIPASS) will become operational by July this year. The agreement to establish the travel card became effective following the signature of six member states at the Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) held in Roseau, Dominica on March 11-12.

Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica and Chairman of the Conference, described the development as a “major step towards hassle free travel.” CARIPASS would entitle current holders of passports issued by CARICOM Member States and legal residents, 16 years of age and over, to become part of a trusted traveler regime once they have been deemed eligible.

CARIPASS holders would be expeditiously processed through specially-designed self service gates at airports and eventually seaports and could proceed directly to Baggage Arrival and Customs Halls. The travel card (CARIPASS) will be issued at national passport and immigration headquarters and is being designed to assist the frequent regional traveler in avoiding long immigration lines at the airport.

A letter by a reader, published in the Barbados Advocate, indicated that CARIPASS is of no use if CARICOM nationals continue to be burdened with high travel taxes, which renders inter-island travel prohibitive for many. He proposes that CARICOM look at reducing taxes for Caribbean travelers.

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