A new customs system, ASYCUDA World will enhance trade, reduce business costs, and increase government revenue thanks to a partnership between the Solomon Islands and Australian Governments.
The customs declaration processing system will make imports and exports easier by simplifying trade procedures, information flows and documentation. This will reduce processing times and lower business costs for compliant traders. It will improve efficiency and effectiveness in customs control, which should increase government revenue.
The new customs information system was officially launched on Wednesday by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Harry Kuma, and the Australian High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, Andrew Byrne.
Speaking at the opening, Mr Byrne said Australia is proud to have contributed AU$1.9 million [SBD11.4 million] to help make the introduction of ASYCUDA possible.
“Australia is committed to supporting Solomon Islands economic growth through trade and the use of technology. This is why we invest in systems like ASYCUDA that bring benefits to government and to business.”
Mr Kuma said “the system will provide support to the Government in modernising the customs and commercial elements of its foreign trade infrastructure to levels required for a modern economy.”
Mr Kuma thanked Australia for its ongoing support to customs including funding for the modernisation system.
“I would like to acknowledge the Australian Government for its invaluable contribution to the Customs Department through its support for the project.”
Before the system went live, customs processes were mostly done manually and not aligned to international standards. This hampered trade.