The Jamaica Customs Department is looking to implement a new international Information Technology (IT) system to automate custom processes and compile accurate trade statistics.
The programme, the Asycuda World Information System, is currently used in over 85 countries.
Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese, made the announcement at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Thank’, held on January 23.
Major Reese said a team is currently in Trinidad and Tobago to look at the Asycuda World Information System there, and to determine whether it is compatible with applications in Jamaica.
“There is need to implement a full service system in short order in preparation for the logistics hub and also to make Jamaica more competitive as a cargo or transshipment destination,” he said.
The Commissioner noted that the Department will also be looking at other types of international IT systems, pointing out that not all of the Asycuda modules are being used by the countries in which they were implemented.
Major Reese said the new web based system, if implemented, will improve the operations by fully automating export and import transactions. He added that it will be linked to the port community system.
“It will enable us to have advanced information on cargo manifest, advanced information on passengers and we will also be able to view bills of lading and other important information,” he said, adding that the system will support a paperless operation.
Additionally, the automated system will allow permits to be viewed online by customs officers, and persons will not have to show these documents at ports of entry.
In the meantime, the Customs Department is currently observing Customs Week 2013 which began on January 20 under the theme: ‘Innovation for Customs Progress’.
The week, which ends on January 26, began with a church service at Mona Baptist Church and will close with an Information Exposition on Saturday, January 26, at the Chinese Benevolent Association starting at 10:00 am.