Online management system installed at 11 customs pointsThe Department of Customs has installed automated systems at 11 border crossings in a bid to speed up customs clearance and control illegal trade.
The Department of Customs has installed automated systems at 11 border crossings in a bid to speed up customs clearance and control illegal trade.
The government started implementing the computerised customs management system known as ASYCUDA World (Automated System for Customs Data) as part of its customs reform programme.
ASYCUDA World was installed at the country’s the two busiest customs points, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu and the Inland Cargo Depot at Sirsiya, Birgunj, last year. The system was recently installed at Rasuwagadhi Customs on the Nepal-China border north of Kathmandu.
In 2011, the government began installing the system at major customs points with the support of the Asian Development Bank. Mechi, Biratnagar, Bhairahawa, Krishnanagar, Nepalgunj, Kailali, Birgunj and Gaur customs have been upgraded to ASYCUDA World. The process of installing the system at the Jaleshwor Customs Office is at the final stage, said department spokesperson Shiva Prasad Bhandari.
The web-based customs management system supports paperless cargo submission and processing. The system allows clients to open bank accounts and make online payments besides enabling customs agents, importers and exporters to submit their customs declaration electronically. There are 30 customs offices in the country, including nine on the Nepal-China border and one at TIA.
Likewise, there are 143 sub-customs offices. Bhandari said the department would be installing ASYCUDA World at other large customs offices in the first phase. “In the next phase, we have planned to implement the system at sub-customs offices too.”
The Logistic Performance Report 2010 revealed that customs clearance of export cargo took 1.41 days in Nepal compared to 3.45 days in India.
Traders have often been complaining that slow customs clearance is one of the major reasons behind their having to pay detention charges, and they will welcome the computerised system which reduces hassles in the customs clearance process, officials said. In addition, it also helps control revenue leakage as the practice of underinvoicing will be eliminated.
This year, the government has expected to collect revenue worth Rs120.82 billion in customs duties. In the first seven months, the customs duty collection reached Rs73 billion, up from Rs64.3 billion during the same period a year ago. ASYCUDA World was designed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development to administer a country’s customs.