Automation comes to Yangon customs processes
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.