21 Jun 10 - UNCTAD and the Netherlands to cooperate in Customs sector

Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Kingdom of the NetherlandsUNCTAD and the Netherlands Agriculture Ministry will assist developing countries in modernizing their Customs services and streamlining import and export procedures for agricultural products to bring them up to international standards.

The Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD and the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands have signed a Memorandum of Understanding providing for common activities in streamlining Customs and export certification procedures of agricultural inspection agencies for developing-country exports by using smarter inspection and communication methods.

Netherlands Agriculture  Ministry's export control system (CLIENT) Under the MoU, UNCTAD and the Ministry will cooperate in creating synergy between UNCTAD's ASYCUDA automated Customs system and the Ministry's export control system (CLIENT) in order to facilitate trade and maximize benefits for governments and trade communities in developing countries. CLIENT ensures that border controls of agricultural goods are organized more efficiently and effectively. The replacement of conventional (paper) documents by electronic communication is essential in this approach.

The Parties will develop an integrated ASYCUDA/export control system and its subsequent piloting in an ASYCUDA user country. Implementing the system will simplify export procedures and enable the use of electronic export certification. At a later stage, UNCTAD will make the system available to other beneficiary countries.

The Dutch Government will provide UNCTAD with funds to cover the costs of the development, integration and piloting activities and also offer expertise in electronic export certification.

The agreement opens a new page in cooperation between UNCTAD and the Netherlands in assisting developing countries to modernize their Customs services and streamline agriculture import and export procedures in line with international standards.

The Dutch export certification system has been tested in pilot mode in Uganda. The Netherlands currently cooperate with Kenya on implementing the full CLIENT model for electronic export certification.

The Memorandum acknowledges UNCTAD's role in the promotion of trade facilitation and modernization of Customs administrations and recognizes the extensive experience of UNCTAD's ASYCUDA system, which is operational in more than 90 countries.

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