The Republic of Palau’s Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP) recorded significant improvements in revenue and data collection following implementation of the ASYCUDAWorld system.

The ASYCUDAWorld system was deployed as part of the European Union’s (EU)-funded Improving Pacific Islands Customs and Trade (IMPACT) Project implemented by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) ASYCUDA Pacific Programme.

An official launch ceremony took place on 20 February 2024 at the Palau Royal Resort, where the President of the Republic of Palau, Mr. Surangel S. Whipps, the Minister for Finance, Mr. Kaleb Udui Jr., and the Director for BCBP, Mr. John Tarkong Jr., highlighted the benefits of the transformation for the trading community and the country.

During the launch, President Whipps Jr. said the integrated system automated international trade and transport operations and elevated Palau in line with global standards and facilitating smoother interactions with financial and economic partners.

“This system will incentivise investment in Palau,” President Whipps stated.

The Deputy Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation for the Pacific, Dr. Erja Askola, highlighted the importance of modernizing customs procedures in the Pacific Island Countries, including digital systems.

“Trade is part of the long term partnership between the EU and Pacific states. To give a boost to our trade and investments, we need efficient customs procedures to reduce cumbersome paperwork and save time at the borders. This is precisely what the automated system for customs data, ASYCUDA helps to address,” remarked Dr. Askola.

BCBP initially transitioned into the digitally automated customs and trade clearance system on 22 January 2024, and has since witnessed significant improvements in revenue collection, data accuracy, and red tape reduction. Between 22 January and 11 February 2024, BCBP saw a startling 28.92 percent rise in revenue over the same period from the previous year, demonstrating the efficacy and efficiency of the digitally automated system.

The trading community of Palau continues to familiarize themselves with the new automated clearance process. Consequently, BCBP embarked on delivering trainings aimed at specific users that will enhance user acquaintance and contribute to the sustainable and seamless use of the advanced system and its full features for maximum benefits.

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.