Govt promises paperless customs transactions soon

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Customers transacting business at the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) office in the city (DPI photo)

The Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) pilot programme, which aims to facilitate paperless and improved customs transactions, will be fully implemented in 2019, the Department of Public Information (DPI) has reported.

On November 26, during his Budget 2019 presentation in the National Assembly, Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan said, with regard to inland revenue management, the government is currently exploring other options to move away from using its current platform, the Total Revenue Integrated Processing System (TRIPS), to a new software.

According to DPI, the Finance Minister noted that the government will continue to improve the internal systems through an expansion of the tax services across the country with a specific focus on the hinterland regions.

This year, the GRA office in Lethem was connected to the Head Office; which allows live and on-location processing of business-related licenses, among other services, thereby reducing cost and waiting time for taxpayers in Region Nine,

In addition, Minister Jordan said residents within Region 1 will soon benefit from the new office in Mabaruma which will be become operational at the start of 2019.

Overall, the government’s effort to encourage all citizens to become registered taxpayers has resulted in an increase in the number of registered taxpayers from over 79,000 at the end of 2017, to about 83,000 to date, DPI said.

The Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) is a computerised system designed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in 1981, to administer a country’s customs.

The system handles manifests and customs declarations, accounting procedures, transit and suspense procedures and generates trade data that can be used for statistical economic analysis. ASYCUDA takes into account the international codes and standards developed by ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation), WCO (World Customs Organization) and the United Nations.

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