15 February 2021
UNCTAD Report Highlights Achievements in Mobilizing Domestic Revenues Through Trade Facilitation
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UNCTAD released a report on the accomplishments of the ASYCUDA Programme, which supports countries in mobilizing domestic revenues through implementing trade facilitation policies.

Case studies from around the world describe the challenge, UNCTAD and ASYCUDA’s assistance, solutions developed, and results.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released a report on the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) Programme, which supports countries in mobilizing domestic revenues through implementing trade facilitation policies while simultaneously promoting efficient procedures, regional integration, capacity building, and safeguarding of natural resources. The report shares achievements under the Programme in 25 user countries and territories.

The report titled, ‘ASYCUDA Partnerships for Sustainable Development: Compendium 2020,’ presents case studies on a number of topics, ranging from system deployment basic practices to regional integration. Cases from around the world describe challenges, UNCTAD and ASYCUDA’s assistance, solutions developed following collaboration between the ASYCUDA Programme and trade stakeholders, and results. Angola, for example, used to use a decentralized architecture for its customs controls, with separate cargo manifests and customs declarations, manual control of oil exports and customs-related payments captured from payment results. This decentralized architecture and reliance on manual operations resulted in challenges in reporting revenue collection and results. In response, the Angolan Revenue Authority cooperated with the ASYCUDA World System to fully automate Angolan customs, resulting in a 44% increase in revenue after the first year of operations, a 77% reduction in paperwork for goods clearance, and faster clearance of goods at entry and exit points, among other results.

In Jamaica, the ASYCUDA-based Jamaica Single Window for Trade (JSWIFT) automates and facilitates pre-clearance formalities through a user-friendly technology platform, transforming the ways businesses operate. JSWIFT allows traders to submit information at a single-entry point to fulfill import and export requirements and provides e-payment, real-time notifications, and track and trace capabilities. Application processing times have decreased, and information duplication and redundancies have reduced, resulting in increased revenue for Jamaica.

Sri Lanka’s Department of Wildlife Conservation needed to improve its capacity to control the export, import, and introduction by sea of specimens of endangered species of flora and fauna, and products derived from them, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) classification. In partnership with the ASYCUDA Programme, the CITES Secretariat and the Government of Switzerland, the Department developed an electronic permit system, ‘eCITES,’ and tailored the system to comply with the Department’s regulations and requirements. Implemented in February 2020, the system offers a fully automated support for CITES permit application, processing, issuance, and annual reporting, with inbuilt controls that ensure accurate submission of data and secure permits using the GR code feature. This system enables government agencies to better target their inspection, provides improved data to decide on CITES non-determinant findings, and improves collaboration between national and international agencies on implementation of CITES provisions.

The ASYCUDA Programme emphasizes reform and automation of customs clearance procedures and partnerships for mobilizing development resources. UNCTAD released the Compendium in advance of its 15th quadrennial conference, which will convene in Barbados in October 2021. The event will examine opportunities for strategies and policies that address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and align with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with a particular emphasis on resource mobilization for least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS). [Publication: ASYCUDA Partnerships for Sustainable Development: Compendium 2020] [ASYCUDA Webpage

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