Sun | May 20, 2018

ASYCUDA upgrade: Problem-plagued customs clearance system in gov't's plans

Published:Thursday | February 22, 2018 | 1:21 PM

The problem-plagued online customs clearance system, ASYCUDA, is to undergo an upgrade this year.

The upgrade is part of the government's $1.32 billion Fiscal Administration Modernisation Programme outlined in the 2018/19 Estimates of Expenditure.

It is an important component of the government's thrust to boost revenue collections and attain fiscal sustainability.

However, since the implementation of ASYCUDA in December 2014, the Jamaica Customs Agency has been hit with numerous breakdowns in the system, especially during peak holiday periods when there is a rush in clearing cargo from the ports.

With ASYCUDA, all processing and clearance of cargo from the ports are done online through the Web-based application.

But customs agents and freight forwarders on several occasions have complained of difficulty in using the application resulting in huge pile-ups and delays in securing clearance of goods.

Despite the challenges, customs officials have claimed improved efficiencies and reduced costs with the implementation of ASYCUDA.