Categorized | Local, News

Customs new ASYCUDA increases government revenue as it red flags importers

FS-John Skerritt, Chief Minister Reuben T Meade, and Director General of MCRS Peter Henderson

At the end of November, 2010, the ASYCUDA world project went live in Montserrat. Director General of the MCRS Peter Henderson told the attendees at the launch, “The system will assist Montserrat customs and revenue service in improving its customer service protecting society and the development of the economy.”

It has not been long, just over three months, and already the Customs department as they continue to receive praise for some aspects of the new system as most of the public appreciate its opportunities and the advantages, the Ministry of Finance is reporting improvement in revenue collection.

According to the Hon. Financial Secretary John Skerritt, one exercise arising out of the system has so far yielded fines in excess of $70,000. The exercise was from imports which yielded duty of another approximately $60,000 from one trader/importer.

According to Skerritt in operating the system efficiently, “A number of investigations are currently in progress based on trends, transactions that have been red flagged and information gleaned from a variety of other sources.”

He added, “One of the investigations in progress has so far yielded fines in excess of $70,000.”

Peter Henderson, currently on vacation, assumed the Comptroller of Customs role, following  the retirement of Bishop Melroy Meade in December 2010. Both he and Chief Minister Meade in November  spoke to the advantages of the new ASYCUDA system to government and the public. The CM had said, “as a nation, we should be willing to adapt and accept new technologies which can improve our efficiency and delivery of service.”

CM Meade had also cautioned: “We must be in a position to provide the service as efficiently as possible, but it will only be efficient if the people who are operating the service continue the strive for further improvements…”

Henderson had pointed out, “It’s important to emphasize that ASYCUDA world, will provide a better more user friendly service for everyone in Montserrat it will assist the government in planning and efficiencies which again will be to the benefit of the country . The system will assist Montserrat customs and revenue service in improving its customer service protecting society and the development of the economy.”

Financial Secretary Skerritt speaking on the recent developments explains: “ASYCUDA World builds upon the successful experiences of ASYCUDA++. It was designed to function in difficult telecommunications environments, but also to operate through GSM networks that are already widespread in developing countries. The web-based system allows Customs Administrations and traders to handle most of their transactions – from Customs Declarations to Cargo Manifests and Transit documents – via Internet.”

He recalls the earlier notations, that the system does facilitate the clearing of goods by traders and will go a long way in improving efficiencies in the Customs Department.  “Most of the work however, is done after the transaction is processed as there is the need to verify and investigate the declarations made by the trader or broker,” he noted.

He added that traders will therefore experience increased levels of queries and investigations as omissions, inconsistencies and trends are red flagged, but points out, “Any system however, is as good as the integrity of the persons who manage and supervise it.”

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

FS-John Skerritt, Chief Minister Reuben T Meade, and Director General of MCRS Peter Henderson

At the end of November, 2010, the ASYCUDA world project went live in Montserrat. Director General of the MCRS Peter Henderson told the attendees at the launch, “The system will assist Montserrat customs and revenue service in improving its customer service protecting society and the development of the economy.”

It has not been long, just over three months, and already the Customs department as they continue to receive praise for some aspects of the new system as most of the public appreciate its opportunities and the advantages, the Ministry of Finance is reporting improvement in revenue collection.

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According to the Hon. Financial Secretary John Skerritt, one exercise arising out of the system has so far yielded fines in excess of $70,000. The exercise was from imports which yielded duty of another approximately $60,000 from one trader/importer.

According to Skerritt in operating the system efficiently, “A number of investigations are currently in progress based on trends, transactions that have been red flagged and information gleaned from a variety of other sources.”

He added, “One of the investigations in progress has so far yielded fines in excess of $70,000.”

Peter Henderson, currently on vacation, assumed the Comptroller of Customs role, following  the retirement of Bishop Melroy Meade in December 2010. Both he and Chief Minister Meade in November  spoke to the advantages of the new ASYCUDA system to government and the public. The CM had said, “as a nation, we should be willing to adapt and accept new technologies which can improve our efficiency and delivery of service.”

CM Meade had also cautioned: “We must be in a position to provide the service as efficiently as possible, but it will only be efficient if the people who are operating the service continue the strive for further improvements…”

Henderson had pointed out, “It’s important to emphasize that ASYCUDA world, will provide a better more user friendly service for everyone in Montserrat it will assist the government in planning and efficiencies which again will be to the benefit of the country . The system will assist Montserrat customs and revenue service in improving its customer service protecting society and the development of the economy.”

Financial Secretary Skerritt speaking on the recent developments explains: “ASYCUDA World builds upon the successful experiences of ASYCUDA++. It was designed to function in difficult telecommunications environments, but also to operate through GSM networks that are already widespread in developing countries. The web-based system allows Customs Administrations and traders to handle most of their transactions – from Customs Declarations to Cargo Manifests and Transit documents – via Internet.”

He recalls the earlier notations, that the system does facilitate the clearing of goods by traders and will go a long way in improving efficiencies in the Customs Department.  “Most of the work however, is done after the transaction is processed as there is the need to verify and investigate the declarations made by the trader or broker,” he noted.

He added that traders will therefore experience increased levels of queries and investigations as omissions, inconsistencies and trends are red flagged, but points out, “Any system however, is as good as the integrity of the persons who manage and supervise it.”