ASYCUDAWorld is the latest result of a process that began when UNCTAD
identified the first signs of the commercial potential of the World
Wide Web. UNCTAD’s Trade Efficiency Summit (Columbus, Ohio, 1994)
looked at how to reduce transaction costs by applying information
technologies to every link of the trade transaction chain. At the time,
the potential annual cost savings were estimated at up to $100 billion.
The $100 billion target remains elusive, but an
initiative launched by the G-7 was based on the belief that it was
nonetheless achievable, as long as customs data requirements can be
harmonized and simplified. That objective is now being pursued by the
Brussels-based World Customs Organization, which is developing a
global, harmonized standard data set that uses uniform electronic
messages. The WCO Customs Data Model, as it is called, is likely to
have a major impact on the processing of business-to-business,
business-to-government and government-to-government transactions.
developments, combined with the fact that 85 countries around the world
are already using the same customs IT system, ASYCUDA, represent a
formidable opportunity for using the Internet to make international
trade simpler and cheaper whilst also making international markets more
accessible to enterprises from developing countries.
ASYCUDAWorld builds upon the
successful experiences of ASYCUDA++, which was designed to function in
difficult telecommunications environments, but also to operate through
GSM networks that are already widespread in developing countries. Being
web-based, the ASYCUDAWorld system will allow Customs Administrations
and traders to handle most of their transactions – from Customs
Declarations to Cargo Manifests and Transit documents – via Internet.
in the early 80’s to automate the operations of Customs
Administrations, the UNCTAD ASYCUDA Programme has become the leading
media of Customs modernization worldwide. The ASYCUDA software is today
the core component of comprehensive, Integrated Customs Information
Systems in more than 80 countries.
objective of the program is to assist countries to achieve a global aim
– Facilitation of Trade, by strengthening the Customs Administrations’
operational capacity to carry out their fiscal and control missions,
through the implementation of modern and reliable systems.
The ASYCUDA Business Strategy follows the founders’ strategic objectives:
should assist Customs Administrations’ modernisation and reforms, by
supporting both facilitation of legitimate trade and efficiency of
Customs clearance controls.
- ASYCUDA must
implement harmonized codes, international standards, simplified
procedures etc. The expected basic outputs are a uniform application of
the Customs law and regulations, a better command on the collection of
duties and taxes, and the availability of timely and accurate
- ASYCUDA should fit the requirements
of all Customs operations worldwide: A unique, parameterised system,
which brings a vast economy of scale, allowing UNCTAD to propose very
cost-effective solutions. Country-specific requirements must be
fulfilled provided they are not incompatible with objective 2. In
addition, any specific enhancement of ASYCUDA must maintain the
functional and technical coherence of the system.
is provided by UNCTAD at no cost . The implementation of the system is
carried out through UNCTAD Technical Assistance projects, comprising
general support activities, training, documentation and/or specific
product developments on a cost-recovery [non profit] basis.
ASYCUDA products should match highest quality standards of the
industry. In order to do so, the ASYCUDA software will make use of
latest reliable technologies available on the market .
implementation of these strategic concepts has led to the development
of three major versions of the software product, ASYCUDA Ver. 1,
ASYCUDA Ver. 2 and ASYCUDA Ver. 3 (ASYCUDA++), and the current
development of ASYCUDAWorld.