The Republic of Palau’s Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP) has implemented the ASYCUDAWorld (AW) system, following efforts to modernise and digitally automate its customs clearance processes.  

The transformation supported by the European Union (EU) funded Improving Pacific Islands Customs and Trade (IMPACT) project at United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) ASYCUDA, provides Palau with an advanced and efficient digital platform to enhance customs operational capacity in line with international standards and best practices.

The modern system enables Palau to apply streamlined customs legislation at all levels, facilitate collection of customs duties, increase government revenue and eliminate fraud and corruption.

ASYCUDAWorld offers integrated and customised modules and features and secured data exchanges with Customs partners and other administration. The system will provide Palau, reliable trade data to enable trade friendly future policies opening Palau’s economy to the Pacific and the world market.

The Director for the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, Mr. John Tarkong Jr. said, the country was looking forward to benefitting from the new system including increase in government revenues and improved data collection for future improvements on the operations.

“With almost half of the customs administrations around the world now relying on a common automated platform to support their respective customs clearance operations, it is important to realize the important impact and benefits this will have on Palau,” Mr. Tarkong Jr. said.

ASYCUDA is now operational in 102 countries and territories. Palau is one of the 13 Pacific Island Countries to digitally automate its customs clearance process, embracing the climate smart technology and accelerating progress toward achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

“This will mark a significant milestone in Palau’s ongoing efforts to streamline trade operations and bolster border control and monitoring of all goods. The transition signals a new era in customs processing, offering more efficiency and control over its clearance and processing goods and the collections of duty. Therefore, going forward, all declarants or authorised importers will have to follow the AW declaration processes to clear their goods,” said, the Republic of Palau’s Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, ASYCUDA National Project Manager Ms. Joline Spesungel.

Prior to the implementation, multiple series of training and system sensitizing were carried out for BCBP customs officers and trade stakeholders by the UNCTAD ASYCUDA expert, Mohammed Rizwan Khan , currently in Palau.

Customs operations going forward for Palau Traders:

BCBP encourages all traders to make declarations in the AW. The new software allows customs to utilise a range of AW features, simplifying the process and increasing accuracy in operations.

Notable advancements include:

  • Online submission of Manifests and Bills of Ladings by carriers and freight forwarders.
  • Online preparation of declarations by companies or their agents.
  • The introduction of a self-assessment regime for more precise cargo information.
  • Digital release orders indicating the completion of the customs process.

Continuous capacity building to ensure smooth transition

“Recognising the challenges that may arise with this transition, BCBP is committed to providing comprehensive training and support to all stakeholders. We encourage those in need of additional training or facing challenges to contact us for assistance. We appreciate the cooperation and proactive engagement of all stakeholders in adopting this new system,” Ms. Spesungel added.