The Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA) has successfully implemented the ASYCUDA World Project which is aimed at improving the efficiency of Customs operations in the Kingdom. The system will also help the revenue office to interface e-documents with other government authorities and exchange data with other customs administrations in the COMESA region.
The project was implemented with financial support from the European Union, 9th European Development Fund (EDF) under the COMESA Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM) programme.
The SRA started implementing the ASYCUDA project in 2014 and extended severally by the EU thus running for a period of close to 40 months and closing on 31st December 2017. The implementation period of this project recorded several achievements including the activation of all the 13 commercial borders in Swaziland which went live on 1st February 2016. The roll out was reported to be successful under the “Big Bang” approach. All non-commercial borders and the six Post Offices in the country have also migrated to ASYCUDA World.
Part of the achievements include the fact that Reference Tables were coded afresh to international standards and more than 600 internal and external users have been trained. All the key Modules were activated in the System including the e-Manifest having been successfully rolled out and made mandatory on all modes of transport.
Three other Government Agencies (OGAs) namely the Swaziland Dairy Board, the Swaziland Environment Authority and the National Agricultural Marketing Board are now issuing permits in the ASYCUDA world system. Additional Government Agencies such as the Central Bank, the Central Statistics Office, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Economic Planning and development were engaged and trained on statistics and trade reports.
The Swaziland team recently reported to COMESA Secretary General Mr Sindiso Ngwenya that ASYCUDA has given them convenient access as they can log in from anywhere at any time. It has improved communication through the system including i.e. communication and correspondence of notices, as well as being a user-friendly system with ease of access of information.
Other benefits cited are significant reduction in the processing costs and increased efficiency through continuous capacity building. They are now working in a paperless environment and costs of printing have been reduced and statistics and other reports are more reliable now compared to before.