Brokers Embrace Move In The ASYCUDA World

It goes without saying that introduction of a new form of technology, be it in the form of software or hardware, will bring about needed changes in any organisation. And
10 Dec 2014 11:40
Brokers Embrace Move In The ASYCUDA World
Vinesh Chandra is the chairman of the Customers Brokers and Forwarders Council of Fiji.

It goes without saying that introduction of a new form of technology, be it in the form of software or hardware, will bring about needed changes in any organisation.

And the implementation of the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) World software is no different to implementing better trade facilitation in Fiji and to the rest of the world.

The Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Fiji is a body where the introduction of the ASYCUDA World has been welcomed, literally, with open arms.

Chairman of Customers Brokers and Forwarders Council of Fiji Vinesh Chandra tells of how ASYCUDA World’s implementation in the first quarter of 2015 is a welcoming transition for them.

Mr Chandra said the council was making a lot of effort to ensure this customs clearance processes are much quicker and more efficient.

The main purpose of the council is to represent the brokers and freight forwarders and the business community in Fiji.

It was formed in 1994 as there was a need for such a council to exist and to work with customs.

About ASYCUDA programme

The ASYCUDA programme is directed at reforming the customs clearance process. It aims at speeding up customs clearance through the introduction of computerisation and simplification of procedures.

Hence, it minimises administrative costs to the business community and the economies of countries.

It also aims at increasing customs revenue, which is often the major contributor to national budgets in most countries.

This is through ensuring that all goods are declared, that duty/tax calculations are correct and that duty/exemptions, preference regimes, etc. are correctly applied and managed.

An important objective of ASYCUDA project is to implement the systems as efficiently as possible.

This is with a full transfer of know-how to national customs administrations at the lowest possible cost for countries and donors.

In this edition of Ship Talk, Mr Chandra talks on a range of issues from ASYCUDA World, the work of the council and also about his company, VC’s Customs Services.


What is/are requests to Government still pending?

The only request we have made to Government is that facilitation at the wharf where most of the agencies that are involved are still operating at different locations. What we are requesting is if they could all be stationed at one premises where facilitation can be efficient.

This came about last year and at that time they gave us the assurance that they were going to look at that and get it done.  So we are hoping that with the elected Government it should make this happen any time soon.

Tell us what the ASYCUDA World means to the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council?

The launch of the ASYCUDA World 2014 is practically a continuation of the ASYCUDA that was started in 2000 in Fiji.

This programme has been upgraded with a lot of new facilities and collection of data. That is very important to the public and to the Government agencies.

We are of the opinion that with this programme processing will even get more faster and have a lot for the importers and exporters in Fiji to get the work done.

As in previous one, we have had to attend to a lot of agencies but this time we have ASYCUDA World combined into this new system.

Which area of the council would the system be useful?

It’s for the brokers only. It makes their work a lot easier and faster. Previously, to get work done, it used to take two days, three days, one-and-a-half days but now it will likely take about half a day or maximum of one day so we will now see a gradual saving of time.

What form of training has the council conducted in order for its users to be at par with the system?

For training, what we have done was when the initial ASYCUDA World model was set up last year, we had advised customs and the relevant people that for training we will require manual that would be given to the brokers.

And training sessions have with the public sector to ensure that the efficiency will be carried on.

Provide us an update of the Council?

With the Freight Forwarders Council, we are still progressing with the problems that we are having. Most of the programmes and the problems have been solved through dialogue with the relevant authorities.

What are the challenges you faces?

The biggest problems we are facing were from the ports. And that, over the last month, has significantly changed.

The delays and time spent in getting goods out of the wharf have been greatly reduced. It means that a lot of time-saving for the brokers, a lot of cost-saving for the brokers and importers and exporters.

In terms of your own operation, VC’s Customs Service, give us your own perspective of trade facilitation and the challenges shared with other brokers?

VC’s Customs Service is a customs broker that facilitates trade for importers and exporters in Fiji and other relevant authorities where we are required for importation and export.

The challenges are mostly the timely delivery of service which over the years we have seen has improved a lot.


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