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Customs to introduce paperless data processing system on July 1


DHAKA, June 23, 2013 -The country’s customs department is introducing ASYCUDA (Automated System for Custom Data) World- the latest paperless data processing software on July 1.

The software, which will be implemented at all customs houses in phases, is being launched at Dhaka and Chittagong customs houses initially on the first day of next month to enable the customs department process foreign trade more efficiently and timely.

“We can expect some good results from out of this system including hassles free services to trade and businesses,” Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith told an introductory seminar on this new software, organised today (Sunday) by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel.

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan and Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Faruk Khan also addressed the occasion as special guests when NBR Chairman Ghulam Hussain chaired the seminar titled “Development of ASYCUDA World and Single Window in Bangladesh Custom”.

Member for Custom, Bond, Export and IT and Director of the Project Md Nasir Uddin, National Project Manager Syed Mushfequr Rahman and NBR Adviser for the project David Wright spoke on the features and the benefits of this new system.

Muhith, the chief guest of the programme, advised continual training of customs officials and other stakeholders so the programme can be run efficiently.

“We need automated system, but men behind the machine are equally important to reach the ultimate goal,” he said.

Since the new software is aimed to make the customs department paperless, Muhith said jokingly that people who are fond of using paper need not to be frustrated as there will be hard copies available for them.

Referring to the e-books, he said it was widely speculated that the regime of printed books would go with the development of e-books, but it was not happened yet. So, the minister comforted paper producers saying that they have no reason to apprehend that their paper mills should be closed.

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan said the new software would make the customs department paperless while it would provide businesses with hassle-free services.

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Faruk Khan termed introduction of the new data processing system as a strong move towards achieving the target of Digital Bangladesh.

He said the system would also help increase revenue collection further, which already marked substantial rise in the past four years.

Project Director Md Nasir Uddin said introduction of ASYCUDA World is another step forward to comply with the conditions of World Trade Organisation (WTO) and World Customs Organisation (WCO) to fully automate the country’s customs system.

Highlighting the features and benefits of the new system, adviser of the project David Wright said this would help collect custom taxes more accurately by strengthening the capacity of the customs department.

The NBR in January this year signed a deal with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to establish interconnectivity among the country’s 12 major customs houses for sharing data to check under- invoicing and duty evasion. Under the agreement an 18-month-long project including launching of ASYCUDA World will be completed by mid 2014.

Developed by UNCTAD, ASYCUDA World is a software programme, which will facilitate customs administrations and traders to handle most of their transactions – from customs declarations to cargo manifests and transit documents – via internet. Currently 90 countries are using this system to make foreign trade simpler and cheaper while making international markets more accessible to enterprises from developing countries.

Single Window is a facility designed by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) that allows parties involved in trade and
transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a
single entry point to fulfill all import, export, and transit-
related regulatory requirements.

@rrajowan / Source – BSS

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Rajowan Syed

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