This document contains a list of legal elements that should be considered
prior to introducing ADP systems in Customs entry processing. The list is not
exhaustive since each country will have its own specific law requiring different
changes. However, it is imperative to review Customs laws and regulations to
accommodate some or all of the components specified below.
The Kyoto Convention, Annex J. 1, specifies a number of recommendations
concerning definition of legal requirements. Further, the basis for the list is
experiences in various ASYCUDA countries.
1. Legal duty/tax point
The point in time to determine rates of duty and taxes must be specified in
the law and be configured accordingly in the ASYCUDA system. This date may also
be used to define the exchange rate, the time of entry to Customs warehouses and
be decisive whenever a date is required to define entry under a Customs regime.
Usually the date when the entry is registered in the computer system will apply.
2. TIN number
A registration number is required by ASYCUDA. In that respect a unique
Taxpayer Identifier Number - TIN - mutually agreed with the other Government
Authorities should be implemented. A unique identification will greatly satisfy
the needs for all the authorities involved, i.e. Customs, Revenue/Tax
Departments, license and statistics offices.
3. New Declaration Format
In some countries Customs law sets out the exact format of the Customs
Declaration. In such cases the law must be revised to allow for the
introduction of a new format. It could be considered whether such requirement
is at all necessary or an authorization could be given to the Minister to
publish the format. This would facilitate subsequent revisions of the format.
4. DTI and EDI
Legislation must include provision for lodgement of electronic declarations
i.e. paperless transmission of the entry details, including diskettes and tapes.
When using electronic declarations the law must provide for an alternative to
6. Computer print outs
Customs declarations in the form of a print out from the computer should be
legally binding for the importer/broker, thus establishing enough evidence in
cases of trials between Customs and the importer/broker.
7. International standards
The ASYCUDA system will to a large extent require input of international
standards and codes, e.g. for country names and currencies. The legislation
must allow for such codes and standards.
8. Use of data
Legislation should provide for the right for Customs to retain data, use it
for its own purpose and to be allowed to transfer certain data to other
organisations, such as the statistics office.
9. Transaction fees
When considered necessary by the Government, Customs should be authorised to
collect a fee for each Customs declaration. THe amounts collected should be
earmarked to finance renewal of hardware or to compensate for the loss of income
for staff moved from areas with certain extra income to the computer centers,
when such income is possible.
10. Provisional lodgement
The ASYCUDA system contains a facility for pre-lodgement of declarations
pending arrival of vessel or documents. This should be allowed for in the
11. Computer fraud
The law should define fraud based on the manipulation of computers as an
offence to be fined according to the usual practice in the country concerned.
12. Verification of systems
Customs should be authorised to access traders' computer systems for
verification and audit purposes. This has particular importance when using EDI