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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Commissioner of Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), Major Richard Reese, says the organisation is addressing the challenges that have been encountered by users of the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) world system.
  • The Commissioner noted that a significant amount of money is expected to be saved once the system has been fully implemented.
  • The system is being implemented with a US$4 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Commissioner of Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), Major Richard Reese, says the organisation is addressing the challenges that have been encountered by users of the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) world system.

“In implementing this very complex computerized system there have been several challenges with respect to the overall automation exercise,” he told JIS News.

The Commissioner, in  response to concern expressed by some custom brokers that  ASYCUDA is not meeting their expectations of allowing them to carry out transactions in a paperless environment, said there are instances where a permit, licence, invoice or any required document is uploaded and when it is viewed on the system it is not clear.

“In those instances one would need to see the original document for verification. I will also admit that as we move to a paperless environment there are a few persons who on examining the shipments may also request documentation. For those cases, it is a question of us revisiting our sensitisation with our team,” he added.

Major Reese said the JCA continues to have regular dialogue with its stakeholders and has invited them to share their concerns and make recommendations for improvement.

“The agency has regular dialogue with all stakeholders and we view our licensed customs brokers as our key partners. Issues like these, once they are presented, we would indicate a time frame to resolve them, recognizing that as the project comes to a close there are certain adjustments that have to be made,” he noted.

The Commissioner noted that a significant amount of money is expected to be saved once the system has been fully implemented.

“Implementation of the system will save approximately $87 million in the actual paper entries and this benefit accrues directly to the customs brokers and importers because that is a direct cost,” he said.

In the meantime, Major Reese highlighted some initiatives currently being undertaken to improve operations at the agency.

He told JIS News that a project has successfully been completed with five regulatory agencies to automate permit and licence input.

These agencies are the Trade Board, Bureau of Standards Jamaica, Ministry of Heath, Veterinary Services Division and Pesticides Control Authority.

“The JCA, along with these five agencies, is implementing an electronic single window that will allow the agency to receive, process and issue electronic permits and licences,” informed Major Reese.

He also said that the JCA will be using additional tablet computers to aid with its verification process.

The ASYCUDA is a web-based application that is expected to improve efficiency at the agency by integrating business processes into a digital platform.

Use of the system is also expected to improve accountability, transparency and service delivery by reducing waiting time and cut costs, as paper intensive operations will be replaced with electronic transactions.

The system is being implemented with a US$4 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).