Au­to­ma­tion comes to Yan­gon cus­toms pro­cesses

The Myanmar Times - - Business - CHAN MYA HTWE chan­myahtwe@mm­times.com – Trans­la­tion by Win Thaw Tar

THE cus­toms depart­ment’s new au­to­mated cargo clear­ance sys­tem, which will re­place a host of headache-in­duc­ing man­ual pro­cesses, has fin­ished a three-month test run and will go live across the Yan­gon area on Novem­ber 12.

The trial pe­riod for the Myan­mar Au­to­mated Cargo Clear­ance Sys­tem (MACCS) of­fi­cially ended on Oc­to­ber 31, and the cus­toms depart­ment has al­ready fin­ished ad­dress­ing is­sues thrown up dur­ing the test, MACCS di­rec­tor U Win Thant told The Myan­mar Times.

How­ever, the depart­ment is keep­ing MACCS run­ning in test mode un­til Novem­ber 3 to al­low peo­ple a fi­nal chance to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the new sys­tem, he added. MACCS will then be off­line un­til Novem­ber 12 while the depart­ment fin­ishes in­putting and amending data, U Win Thant said.

Ship­ping lines, air­lines, ports and ware­houses across Yan­gon and Thi­lawa spe­cial eco­nomic zone will be the ear­li­est adopters. But U Win Thant pre­vi­ously told The Myan­mar Times that the new sys­tem may ex­tended to border trade cen­tres if Yan­gon-based op­er­a­tions go well.

MACCS au­to­mates many of the man­ual pro­cesses that make deal­ing with Yan­gon cus­toms prob­lem­atic. Rather than vis­it­ing the cus­toms in per­son and fill­ing out pa­per forms, data can be en­tered on­line. Tax, fees and val­u­a­tions will also be en­tered and com­puted elec­tron­i­cally, which should re­duce er­rors and save on time.

Be­cause ex­porters, im­porters, and cus­toms and other gov­ern­ment agency rep­re­sen­ta­tives will all be able to ac­cess MACCS on­line, this means the sys­tem can run 24 hours a day – rather than leav­ing traders at the mercy of the cus­toms depart­ment’s open­ing hours.

The new sys­tem should smooth the gen­eral im­port-ex­port process, U Win Thant said pre­vi­ously. A re­cent World Bank re­port on the ease of do­ing busi­ness noted that con­ges­tion at the port of Yan­gon – a key hub for im­ports and ex­ports – has made trad­ing more dif­fi­cult.

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.

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