17 Oct 08 - El Salvador adopts AsycudaWorld – UNCTAD’s customs automation platform
The Customs Administration of El Salvador has recently joined the group of 22 countries signing up for a programme on e-governance through the implementation of UNCTAD´s latest technological Customs automation platform called AsycudaWorld.
The Asycuda programme greatly contributes to the worldwide effort on trade facilitation within the framework of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Through the combination of implementing high-tech systems on the one hand and training on the other, customs administrations are able to create an online, sustainable, cost-effective, modern and reliable environment for the processing of customs declarations.
Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, stressed that the El Salvador project reflects UNCTAD´s continued commitment and support in trade and development of countries of the Latin American region.
As stated by Mr. Hector Gustavo Villatoro, the Director General of Customs Administration of El Salvador, AsycudaWorld will be a significant step towards responding to technology changes and meeting the needs of importers and exporters in international trade.
Mr. Hector Gustavo Villatoro, Director General of Customs Administration of El Salvador
El Salvador´s GDP growth rate was 4.5 per cent in 2007, with an estimated total trade in merchandise and services of $5.479 billion, according to UNCTAD´s GlobStat.
EL Salvador has shown a real commitment towards customs automation through Asycuda, going back to the early 1990s. From a financial perspective, all project activities are funded by the Ministry of Finance, together with a contribution from the Inter-American Development Bank. Due to the numerous efforts made, important achievements can be accounted for, such as (a) a successful implementation of Asycuda++, the predecessor of AsycudaWorld, in 38 sites throughout the country; (b) ISO 9000 certification of the customs administration; and (c) the possibility to electronically interchange customs data since 2002, thanks to a private national telecommunications network implemented and owned by the Customs Administration. Moreover, the Customs Administration carries out risk assessment operations whereby in an automated manner the routing of transactions for control is decided.
By adopting AsycudaWorld, El Salvador´s Customs Administration will be able to further strengthen the interaction with its partners consisting of carriers, customs brokers, importers and exporters, port and airport authorities and banks. Also, thanks to the speeding up of the processing of documents, the implementation of systematic working methods and an increased optimization of the allocation of resources, efficiency in the processing of declarations will be even further enhanced. Moreover, as AsycudaWorld enables transactions to be done via the Internet, a significant contribution will be made to a better environment by minimizing paper handling.