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Customs software upgrade set to bolster trade for developing countries

ASYCUDAWorld, a flagship software backed by UN Trade and Development, introduces cutting-edge capabilities to help improve customs management across more than 100 economies.

by Tunae
© Shutterstock/dani daniar | Tanjung Priok Port, Indonesia.

Rolling out version 4.4, ASYCUDAWorld seeks to bring a major boost to customs operations around the world.

ASYCUDA, which provides an integrated and automated system for customs data, is the largest technical cooperation programme run by UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

New features of the ASYCUDAWorld software are up and running, helping enhance risk management, customs data gathering and compatibility with external systems, while further reducing paper use.

“The latest version of ASYCUDAWorld brings cutting-edge IT capabilities to make international trade more reliable and secure,” says Shamika N. Sirimanne, director of technology and logistics at UN Trade and Development.

“The upgrade complies with international standards, follows best practices, and was made in collaboration with user countries,” Ms Sirimanne adds.

Data-driven risk management

As a key plank of its technical support, the ASYCUDA programme helps governments better identify fraudulent goods during customs clearance.

In this regard, ASYCUDAWorld 4.4 includes a “dynamic selectivity” feature, which calculates the risk of fraud by drawing insights from the customs declarations database.

Upon analysis, the dynamic selectivity tool automatically highlights risk profiles and associated declarations, prompting more efficient fraud detection and targeted customs inspections.

Besides, the new function supports automatic management of traders’ risk profiles, enabling faster clearance of consignments for Authorised Economic Operators, namely trusted traders.

Improvements to data collection

The software update also enhances the reporting of customs control results, which will help governments access a wider range of customs data to inform policy decisions.

In addition, an updated graphic interface is in place to improve user experience, making it easier to compile data and generate trade statistics.

Stronger compliance and flexibility

Concerning compliance, the upgrade better integrates with standards of the International Air Transport Association, whose data can now feed into the ASYCUDAWorld system in two specific formats.

This will ease the process for airlines and other logistics operators to provide governments with accurate information in line with international standards.

Additionally, the latest software allows third parties to add supporting documentation to a bill of lading electronically, furthering progress towards paperless trade.

User countries can also customize the system without requiring extensive technical support.

Four decades of work facilitating global trade

For more than 40 years, the ASYCUDA programme helps digitalize and expedite customs clearance processes across over 100 user countries, including many of the world’s most vulnerable economies.

The ASYCUDAWorld software is already live in 38 least developed countries, 23 landlocked developing countries, and 41 small island developing states.

Countries that have implemented ASYCUDAWorld can have 100% of their cross-border trade transactions processed through the system.

The first Global Supply Chain Forum, coming up between 21 and 24 May, will hear more on best practices and efficiency gains related to using the software.

Currently, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is working to upgrade to ASYCUDAWorld 4.4, supported by UN Trade and Development. More user countries are expected to follow suit in 2024 and beyond.

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