Nepal, UNCTAD to Update Customs Data System
4 December 2014
The Department of Customs of Nepal and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) have concluded the negotiations for Nepal's adoption of the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) World in November 2014.
The agreement to be signed includes provisions on (i) customizing ASYCUDA World in line with Nepal's requirements and policies, (ii) cost of software, and (iii) timeframe for implementation.
Director General of Department of Customs, Mr. Surya Prasad Acharya, told the Himalayan Times on 13 November 2014 in an interview that the aim is to introduce the software in the country within 16 months from the signing of the agreement.
ASYCUDA World takes advantage of internet connectivity and improves border management by allowing government agencies, including the Inland Revenue Department, Department of Transport Management, Department of Roads, and the Department of Customs to share data electronically. It will also improve customs control capabilities in accounting and information management. The new software will also allow traders to take advantage of online facilities, including electronic submission of customs declarations, cargo manifests, and transit documents.
Nepal is upgrading from the earlier ASYCUDA++ system, which operates through GSM. While it is designed to work in difficult telecommunications environments, it lacks web connectivity, preventing agents from the Department of Customs to handle transactions through the internet.
Adoption of the new system is in line with Nepal’s strategy to upgrade customs administration and to modernize its processes for greater ease of doing business with the country. According to the latest World Bank Doing Business survey, it takes an average of 11 documents, 40 days, $2,545 per container to export goods, and another 11 documents, 39 days and $2,650 per container to import goods.
The Asian Development Bank will finance the project under the Subregional Transport Enhancement Project (STEP) loan/grant. STEP aims to improve Nepal’s trading environment by enhancing the country's road network and customs systems.