Passengers arriving at the Grantley Adams International Airport here will no longer be required to fill out immigration/customs forms, also known as ED forms, as of September 1.
According to Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson, starting next month, there will be a full transition to the use of the 48 kiosks at the airport.
Hinkson, who was speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the kiosk system has been tested for almost a year and has been fine-tuned to ensure that the passenger information gathering system meets all the markers for Customs, Immigration and the Statistical Services.
“We have eliminated the ED cards from September 1. Cabinet made that decision at last Thursdays’ meeting. We have 48 kiosks now; there were 16 and we got another 32 and they were installed last month and are working effectively. I am not going to tell Barbadians that there will be perfection and that the systems will never break down, but we have backup facilities, redundancies in other computer equipment, in terms of saving the information.”
He also disclosed that Cabinet has decided to put more questions in the system.
“Right now, on the ED card, persons are asked to put in their address, length of stay in Barbados, type of accommodation, zip code. We are going to add some questions to the kiosks that will still allow for the acquisition of that information.”
He added that while speed of the process may vary based on the size of a travelling party as well as an individual’s technical proficiencies, the digital systems have significantly cut down the length of time it takes for passengers to get through the airport.