Keeping the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals requires countries to mobilize more government resources and to better collect, process and analyse data on the sources of revenue at their disposal. In many developing countries, especially the least developed among them, customs revenue constitutes a significant, if not the largest, source of domestic resources potentially available to mobilize for development.
The UNCTAD Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) programme works to both increase the effective collection of customs revenues and strengthen institutions for customs data collection and processing in the countries where it operates, increasing government revenues from trade and producing trade-related statistics through its customs automation, modernization and reform projects. Given the programme’s important function and the wide demand from member States for the services it provides, it is no wonder that ASYCUDA is the largest UNCTAD technical assistance programme, active in more than 90 countries.
The ASYCUDA programme is recognized worldwide for its contribution to the modernization and automation of customs procedures. However, its impact has continued to broaden over time at the request of member countries. This compendium provides case studies of ASYCUDA in action, offering a detailed look at some of the achievements and benefits reported by user countries after implementing ASYCUDA systems. The findings of this compendium further demonstrate the value that ASYCUDA provides to the countries that use it, and the critical role that trade can play through effective customs collection in mobilizing domestic resources for development.
On behalf of UNCTAD, I wish to offer my personal thanks to all member States that shared their stories and participated in the preparation of these case studies for the trust they placed in UNCTAD to work with them and for accepting to share with us their national data and statistics in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the ASYCUDA programme. This work could not have been possible without their cooperation and support.
Secretary-General of UNCTAD