Business owners express frustration with ASYCUDA

The government’s intention to expedite the process of doing business at the country’s main seaport appears to have fallen flat. That’s because business people are saying that the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) World is more time consuming.

The ASYCUDA World system makes use of cutting edge ITC technologies – including e-signature, biometrics, XML, to provide governments and in particular Customs administrations with new tools to make dramatic improvements in the areas of security, trade efficiency and fight against corruption.

In October 2016, the Gaston Brown administration officially launched the ASYCUDA World giving the public the assurance that doing business at the port will be improved with the use of the technology.

However, after receiving complaints from customers, who expressed dissatisfaction with the services at the port since the new system was implemented, OBSERVER media contacted the Comptroller of Customs, Raju Boddu last month about the complaints and his response was “there would always be some hiccups” because the process was new.

At the time, Boddu gave OBSERVER media the assurance that all was being done to address the “glitches” in the system.

Yesterday, our newsroom made another attempt to contact the Comptroller of Customs after several businesses in St John’s expressed dissatisfaction with ASYCUDA World when OBSERVER media invited them to give their honest assessment of it.

But Boddu referred the media to Jules Bowen who he said is the project manager for the ASYCUDA system. Our efforts to make contact with Bowen were unsuccessful.

The representatives of a number of businesses in the city candidly gave their opinions of the system based on their experiences.

(More in today’s Daily Observer)