New customs system scheduled for November

The government aims to have an automated cargo clearance system adopted by all customs departments in Yangon by November, before possibly extending the program to the country’s land border points, an official has told The Myanmar Times.

The Myanmar Automated Cargo Clearance System (MACCS) is being rolled out between August and October, and will make moving goods through customs faster and the customs process more effective, according to MACCS director U Win Thant.

MACCS automates many of the previously manual procedures that made navigating customs so time consuming.

Customs officials will no longer have to root around for the right form, because the data will be entered into a computer. This will also make storing, retrieving and transferring customs information far easier, U Win Thant said.

Traders will open a deposit account with the customs department and be taxed automatically. This means tax payments can be processed even when the customs department is closed, he said.

Tax, fees and valuations will be entered and computed electronically, reducing errors, added U Win Thant.

“Manual operations mean undesirable difficulties and delays,” he said.

The fact that customs processes are not yet automated causes problems attracting foreign investors, who will be more likely to engage with Myanmar when the international standard system is in place, he added.

Exporters, importers, and customs and other government agency representatives will also be able to access MACCS through the internet. The system is being installed by customs experts from Japan and officials from the Myanmar customs department with help from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Yangon’s ports and airports will be the earliest adopters, and the new system will only be extended to border trade centres if Yangon-based operations go well, said U Win Thant.

Although there are plans to install the system across Myanmar, initially at its largest border trade points such as Myawady and Tachileik on the Thai border and Muse on the border with China, he added.

A faster customs procedure means goods and commodities reach markets faster, making the trading sector more efficient, he said.

The new system should also help Myanmar meet its obligation, as a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to implement a single-window system – allowing traders to submit regulatory paperwork through a single entity.

This national single-window is necessary to engage in the ASEAN Single Window initiative, which will connect and integrate all the nation single-windows as part of a regional effort to facilitate trade.

 

Source: The Myanmar Times

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