Automation of Customs processes

CUSTOMS processes in Fiji and several Pacific Islands are expected to be fully automated in the near future.

This was the basis of a regional meeting hosted by the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) to review a Customs software developed for processing of Customs transactions in developing countries.

The meeting, which included Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, was to review the ASYCUDA Sub-Regional Mechanism for the Pacific (ASMP).

The Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) is a Customs software developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to assist developing countries in the processing of Customs transactions.

This is done through the recording of all import and export cargoes that cross our borders and to ensure the collection of its correct duties and taxes.

The program is a web-based system, which makes it easier for users to be able to access it from anywhere in the world as long as they have internet access.

Conducted on a yearly basis, FRCS chief executive officer Visvanath Das said the review was to assess the support that ASMP office provides to its member administrations.

Mr Das, who is also the vice chair for the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Asia Pacific region, said FRCS had sought ASMP offices support next year for the next stage of improvements.

This will see the development and full automation of all the Customs manual process.

“The assistance mainly focuses on the ASYCUDA system improvements in allowing the five Customs administration to better their revenue collection, facilitation of trade and travel and improve their risk assessment and compliance auditing,” Mr Das said in a statement.

“These stages will include the development of e-payment with financial institutions, the authorisation of containers of cargoes to be released from the wharf through a message transmission between the ASYCUDA system and the Fiji Ports system and the integration of ASYCUDA with other border agencies automation system.”

Mr Das added that the progress of Customs processes future was aiming towards single window.

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