An EU-funded ASYCUDA project aimed to bring Bosnia and Herzegovina's customs sector in with European Union and WTO norms and standards kicked off with a meeting between UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Petko Draganov and Miro Dzakula, the Director General of the Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) of Bosnia and Herzegovina and his team.
Petko Draganov welcomed the start of the new project and said that UNCTAD had put its best resources to work to make ASYCUDA (Automated SYstem for CUstoms Data) the major international technical cooperation programme in the area of customs modernization.
He said that ASYCUDA could efficiently process all customs and "Single Window" operations in line with international recommendations and with due respect to specific national needs. Mr. Draganov assured ITA's top management that UNCTAD will provide the highest quality technical assistance to support Bosnia and Herzegovina's aspiration for EU membership.
Miro Dzakula underlined the key role played by his agency in securing sustainable government revenue, including over 3 billion Euros of indirect taxes collected last year for the public budget. The ITA head expressed satisfaction with the long-standing collaboration with UNCTAD on customs automation. He expressed hope that the newest ASYCUDA version would bring his administration in line with top European customs and taxation services, and expressed his sincere appreciation to the European Commission for financial support of this project.
The UNCTAD ASYCUDA Programme has over 30 years of customs modernization experience, including assistance to EU candidate countries. Starting in the 1990s the ASYCUDA++ system (called the EU version) was implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and the Baltic States allowing the acceding countries to meet EU requirements at the time.
The newest version of ASYCUDA helps customs administrations to be fully compliant with modern EU standards in addition to implementing the European concept of the customs-centric "Single Window".
Cooperation between UNCTAD and Bosnia and Herzegovina also embraces other areas, including investment policy and WTO accession, among others.
Participants at the meeting on 16 January 2014
From Left: Mr. Stanko Gajic (Head of Customs Department); Mr. Damir Zuparic (Head of Enforcement Department); Ms.Svietlana Perkovic (Head of IT Department); Mr.Sefic Fadzan (Counsellor of the BiH Mission to the UN); Mr.Miro Dzakula (Director General, ITA); Mr.Petko Draganov (Deputy Secretary-General, UNCTAD); Ms. Anne Miroux (Director of DTL UNCTAD); Ms.Delphine Lida (Counsellor of the EC Delegation to the UN)