Acting Comptroller of Customs, Alister Forde (Photo from Customs Department)

Preparations are continuing apace as Government seeks to roll out the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) World within a few days.

Acting Comptroller of Customs, Alister Forde, said the project activities were steadily progressing as anticipated. Acknowledging that there had been a few challenges along the way, he stressed that they were not enough to impede the implementation of the ASYCUDA World system on September 1.

Underscoring the importance of the system to the Customs Department and the country, Mr. Forde said Barbados was working on being more visible globally and attracting international investments.

“We will have a robust system which allows for Customs information to be accessed and submitted well in advance. Electronically, we will have faster clearance times at our ports of entry, and this is important because facilitating legitimate trade equates to a flexible and encouraging business and trade environment,” he stated.

The Acting Comptroller noted that their stakeholders had been yearning for more modern ways to do business with Customs and gave the assurance that this upgrade was the beginning of several others to come.

 “We have been receiving recommendations from individuals and companies and also umbrella associations such as the Shipping Association, the Brokers Associations, Transit Intermediary of Barbados and the Barbados Chamber of Commerce,” he disclosed.

Mr. Forde urged the stakeholders to embrace the upgrade, register on the system and practise as much as possible on the training server. “The ASYCUDA World system has been tailored to allow for greater engagement, accountability and transparency; so make best use of the tools provided, for example, the declaration tracker, tariff calculator and the warehouse management feature,” he urged.

Stakeholders are being encouraged to access the training server and familiarize themselves with the features. The Acting Comptroller urged persons to simulate their business activities in an effort to iron out possible issues that may be encountered before the official launch. They are invited to visit the portal, where news items, information videos, instructions, etc., will be posted. Persons may also email for support.

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