IT system to streamline islands’ customs; speed up trade


<p style="text-align: justify;">Regional heads of Customs adminstrations in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu recently visited Sri Lanka to study a computerised customs management system, which covers all complex trade procedures. The technology makes procedures efficient and also helps rule out human error.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The system known by the acronym ASYCUDA (Automated Systems of Customs Data) handles manifests and customs declarations, accounting procedures and transit and suspense procedures. The Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority says it expects to improve trade between Fiji, the region and the world when it upgrades its information technology systems to incorporate ASYCUDA.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">“ASYCUDA World will enhance trade facilitation through effective integration of stakeholders such as banks, border agencies and other regulatory agencies,” Fiji Revenue and Customs Chief Executive Jitoko Tikolevu said in a statement. “Electronic payments, one approval from multiple agencies and reduction of paper work are outcomes that are expected from ASYCUDA.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">“The enhanced system will assist our integration with these four countries in our trade transactions where Customs documentations can be shared effectively, for example the export documentation from Fiji will be used as import documents for PNG.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">"We have had occurrences of goods being declared as something else in another country and something else in the final destination. For example, a businessman can state that he is exporting second hand tyres in PNG but declares them as new tyres in Fiji where there will be lesser duty," Mr Tikolevu said.</p>

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