A new system to modernise and make more efficient how Customs deals with goods entering the country is nearer to implementation.
The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) yesterday disclosed that it has embarked on another round of sensitisation with key trade stakeholders in the lead up to the official launch of the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) World.
The project was announced over a year ago to replace the troubled Total Revenue Integrated Processing System (TRIPS), which has been crashing ever so often, forcing Customs to revert to manual processing in instances.
On Wednesday, GRA’s ASYCUDA National Project Team (ANPT) of the GRA together with its consultants from the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) facilitated a seminar for freight carriers and their agents at the authority’s Camp Street headquarters.
According to GRA, it has already requested shippers, wharf owners and agents to submit advance cargo manifests in electronic format.
Wednesday’s sensitisation centered on the Manifest Module of ASYCUDA World and the mandatory fields associated with it.
“ASYCUDA World is a recognised internet-based solution used in most of the Caribbean territories to bring about significant benefits in Customs and trade such as reduction in processing time of Customs documentation and the quick release of imported and exported goods,” GRA explained yesterday.
The introduction of the programme to GRA, the entity said, is premised on the failure of the current TRIPS to deliver as expected with relevant Customs modules.
The modules that GRA wants up and running in an efficient manner include the e-manifest, want-of-entry transactions, and warehousing.
After Wednesday’s session, GRA is now targeting Trade Consolidators to be sensitised as the ASYCUDA National Project Team in partnership with UNCTAD bring awareness about the important role each client of the GRA will have to play in making the project a success.
Customs is responsible for raking in billions of dollars annually in revenues for the Government from imports. However, the department has also been accused of heavy corruption with scores of Customs officers fired over the years for bribery and other related offences.
In the last year alone, more than 80 GRA staffers were sent home for wrongdoings highlighting a zero-tolerance approach adopted by the management of the entity.
With regards to ASYCUDA, it would be important in the bigger scheme of things to reduce the headaches for importers who have been complaining over the years of undue delays.
ASYCUDA is expected to reduce the logistical problems that are manifested.
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