SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On January 26, 2022, Customs organizations all over the world join in celebrating International Customs Day under the theme “Customs bolstering Recovery, Renewal and Resilience.” The Honorable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson commemorated this day by inviting Customs St. Maarten to the Government Administration Building so that they could be duly celebrated as well.
“This is a special day where we celebrate and recognize the role of our customs officers and highlight the working conditions and challenges that they face on the job. On this memorable day, I thank all our customs officers for the work that they have been carrying out on behalf of the country and reiterate my commitment to the continual improvement of this department,” stated Minister Richardson.
During the ceremony, Minister Richardson took the opportunity to recognize some members of the customs team for their outstanding qualities, performance and commitment. Customs officer Gabriela Cathalina-Garcia, who recently joined the Customs Department, was recognized for her dedication, performance, and involvement in the PCS committee where she has proven herself to be a dedicated worker, also scoring the maximum on the “National Decree on the Import, Export and Transit” test.
Customs officer Isha Marlin-Brown, who has been working at the department since 2013, was recognized for the efficiency shown in her work. During the past three years, she has worked in a supervisory role where she has not only exceeded expectations as shift leader but also encourages her colleagues to be the best that they can be by remaining up to date on laws pertaining to customs.
Among the recipients recognized was customs officer Franklin Bernadina. Minister Richardson expressed her appreciation for the passion that officer Bernadina has and continues to display when it comes to the department. She stated, “Officer Bernadina is a leader at heart. He shows up to the call of duty and goes above and beyond to ensure the customs department is well-represented at any given moment. I am truly grateful for his attentiveness and dedication to the staff, the department, the wellness and growth of the Ministry and the overall country.”
“During today’s ceremony, I introduced the newly instated Management Team for the Customs Department consisting of Mr. A. Doran, Mr. F. Bernadina, Ms. J. La Paix and Mr. J.S.R. Romney. I remain faithful that this team will continue to enhance the department further and foster an environment in which all our customs officers are given the opportunity and resources to grow and excel, thereby ensuring the safety and security of our borders where the in and out-flow of goods are concerned. On behalf of the Government of St. Maarten, I hereby extend congratulations to our local customs officers, regionally and around the world,” concluded Minister Richardson.