Over the past years the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has undertaken various modernization programs in the Customs Division aimed at improving the delivery of modern day business requirements. To do so the Division is implementing a state-of-the-art ICT system based on the latest version of ASYCUDA to increase operational capacity through the introduction of modern integrated computerised ICT system consistent with international standards and best practice which will replace the existing ASYCUDA++.
The existing system (ASYCUDA++) has been abandoned by the developers. The system uses outdated technology which has rendered most of the equipment available on the market incompatible. ASYCUDA++ is also not a web based system which has proved to limit accessibility by the business community and also difficult to interface with banks and other government agencies.
ASYCUDA World on the other hand will improve the efficiency of Customs operations, interface ASYCUDA World with Domestic Taxes, interface or develop new e-documents with other Government Agencies, exchange data with Customs Authority partner state and improve system reporting including Business Intelligence alerts.
Unlike ASYCUDA ++ the new version (ASYCUDA World) will have web access by external systems users. The business community will be able to access the system in the comfort of their homes or offices as long as they have internet connection without having to travel to MRA offices. Access to the system will be 24 hours meaning that one can submit a declaration at any time as need be. ASYCUDA World will also make it easier to interface with private institutions like banks and government agencies. This version has in built programs for data extractions depending on the user needs and does not need the user to have any IT knowledge.
The key component of ASYCUDA World is the integration of Valuation control to support clearance of goods and also check the status of the declarations whether under-paid or overpaid. The system will also be able to profile the importers basing on the risk involved hence improve compliance of the traders and increase revenue.
ASYCUDA World will benefit the Government by way of increased revenues, due to implementation of valuation control and speedy clearance of goods at the borders. Traders will also benefit by reduced costs of doing business as a result of improved clearance times both at borders and inland stations.
On the other hand, Clearing Agents, Shipping and Freight forwarding will benefit through more flexibility and easy access to customs systems for online updates of transaction being payments of taxes or submission of documents 24 hours.
Other Governments Agencies will also benefit by integration of systems of various government agencies involved in import and export processing, a building block for the National Single Window (NSW) initiative. Customs will also benefit by streamlined and improved business processes and better collection of trade statistics and revenue including trade facilitation.