• 9th PSC (Project Steering Committee) Meeting

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9th PSC (Project Steering Committee) Meeting

The Ministry of Finance, Customs Authority Timor-Leste and UNCTAD ASYCUDA Program for Asia, on January 10th 2020, held by the 9th ASYCUDA World Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting at the Minister’s conference room. The meeting is a regular gathering that Customs DG and UNCTAD ASYCUDA World Project personnel hold, its run quarterly, with the Minister of Finance to discuss on project progress, issues and mitigating measures pertinent to successful implementation of the project and plan for the future. The Project Steering Committee is composed of the Minister of Finance as the chair, Director General of Customs Authority as the project Director, UNCTAD Representatives and representatives from selected MoF Unit as deemed necessary.

During this 9th Steering Committee meeting, Customs DG and UNCTAD ASYCUDA Programme Coordinator presented about progress in the implementation of the project and issues pertinent to the successful implementation of the project. In his presentation, Customs DG highlighted major accomplishments that the project made since inception and since last PSC meeting. A few of the accomplishments worth mentioning included the successful deployment of the system at Customs main offices, such as Dili Airport, Batugade and Salele border posts following the success run of the pilot in Dili Seaport in early 2017, with system deployment to remaining Customs offices to follow in 2020. Customs DG highlighted also automation the project completed for a simpler and more efficient clearance process, such as the automation of 3% interest charge for late payment, calculated automatically by the AW system if importers do not pay Customs and taxes within 10 days following SAD assessment, automation of 5% charge for late submission of Customs declaration beyond 30 days after arrival of vessel.

The use of the system has made cargo clearance process simpler as it has improved processing time from with 53.45% in 2015 to 6.48% in 2018 for SAD assessed and paid on the same day. The use of the system is also helping Customs to achieve one of the project main goals of paperless clearance environment. Since the introduction of the system, importers and declarants no longer submit hard-copies business credentials such as Dividend Certificate (Certidão Dividas_ Portuguese Sign) and Commercial Registration Certificate (Certificado Registo Comercial_ Portuguese Sign) and others processing.

UNCTAD representative in her intervention highlighted the need for continuous support to the project by the government to build on gains and successes that the project is making. S.Exa. Vice-Ministry of Finansas Sara Lobo Brites welcomed progress and accomplishments the project achieved and urged the project to continue work in close coordination with the Ministry and Customs Authority to ensure all project goals and objectives are achieved and that the system remains central to customs works post project.

About the Customs-UNCTAD ASYCUDA World Project in Timor-Leste

The “Strengthening of Automated Customs Processes and Deployment of ASYCUDA World” project was signed between Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL) and the United Nations Conference of Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in July 2014. The first installment of the project was paid to UNCTAD trust fund in October 2014 and the project activities commenced in January 2015.

The immediate objectives of the project are to increase efficiency in the Customs clearance processes, to improve revenue control, to install the latest ASYCUDA World computerized system and to reduce the administrative burden on the trading community to a minimum.

    The project is divided into two major components, namely:

  • Process improvement, focusing on the strengthening of Customs processes and procedures and documentation; and
  • Technological upgrade, involving the deployment of ASYCUDA World.
    Under these two components, four main outputs are pursued:

  1. Harmonization and strengthening of the automated clearance process.
  2. Deployment of ASYCUDA and automated clearance process in major customs offices.
  3. Deployment of ASYCUDA World infrastructure and capacity building of National Project Team.
  4. System integration with third party system.

The project is designed to be implemented in three consecutive phases: Prototype, Pilot and Roll out.

For further information about the project, please contact Mr. Zeca Amaral on 77425970 or email zamaral@mof.gov.tl