Nepal DOC: Time Release Study Survey
The Nepal Department of Customs (DOC), in collaboration with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) conducted a Time Release Study (TRS) Survey at Mechi Customs, Nepal from 15-24 March 2016. The activity follows a recommendation made in the National TRS workshop held on 17-19 March 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal, to determine the average time taken to clear consignments, from entry to exit in the Customs area, and to prescribe possible corrective measures to allow prompt clearance of cargoes.
As the first TRS exercise to be carried out in Nepal and in accordance with the WCO methodology, the DOC formed a Core Working Group at Headquarters and a Local Working Group at the Mechi Customs office. The groups were assisted by accredited experts of the WCO and the ADB trade facilitation team in conducting the survey. A test run was successfully carried out on 3-9 March 2016, allowing DOC to make appropriate adjustments in the survey questionnaire and planning.
Twelve enumerators were assigned to carry out the TRS Survey in specific locations throughout the Customs clearance process to collect data. For the automated steps, data from ASYCUDA World software was used. Samples were collected according to the sampling plan prepared prior to the test run. Two types of import samples were considered–import from India, and import from a third country or countries other than India. A total of 150 samples were taken, with 82% from India and 18% from a third country.
India imports included common import items, such as coal and clinker, perishable items, paddy and other household utilities. Third-country import included jute and consumable items. Export items included processed tea, perishables, and herbs.
The survey period will last one month, until the clearance of pending samples within this period has been carried out. Upon completion of the one-month period, data collected from the TRS Survey will be fed into WCO TRS software for analysis, in preparation of the final report.
The TRS is a key activity identified in Nepal’s Customs Reform and Modernization Strategies and Action Plan 2013-2017, as well as the ADB technical assistance grant, Supporting Nepal’s Participation in SASEC Trade Facilitation, funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.
The TRS will serve as a benchmark of Customs clearance processes and will also form part of the ongoing subregional initiative, the Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism, being carried out by UNESCAP with ADB assistance in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal. The DOC envisages conducting the TRS survey in other major border crossing points in the country, upon successful completion of the initiative at Mechi Customs.