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New Customs System to Improve Security & Service
Source: The Good News
Source Date: Thursday, July 29, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs
Country: South Africa
Created: Aug 03, 2010

"Its intention is to enhance the ability to identify illicit goods," said SARS Commissioner Oupa Magashula on Thursday.

He added that it was important for South Africa to be a secure and reliable trading partner, considering it had so far imported R670 billion and exported R650 billion worth of goods for this year.

The programme will see customs operations moving from a partially paper-based environment to a simplified automated and more cost efficient environment. The Revenue Services has been in talks with stakeholders to develop the programme.

"We looked at harnessing technology and automation of processes is that [operations] will be faster and more convenient," said the Commissioner. He added that a study had shown that delays caused by customs amounted to a R165 million a day.

"The focus is to maximise the level of trade facilitation," said Magashula.

Some of the initiatives of the modernisation programme include the electronic supporting documents whereby people will be able to electronically submit any supporting document required by customs for the finalisation of a transaction.

This will reduce a paper overload and the burden of a trader having to physically deliver them to SARS.

Additionally, the SARS Contact Centres will be increased to accommodate customs queries through both SARS-trained call centre agents. SARS will also introduce a single solution as opposed to the 37 systems that are currently in place.

Asked about how staff will adjust to the new programme, Magashula said: "There will be glitches, our people will have to learn quickly."

Chief Officer of Customs and Border Management, Gene Ravele, said: "We are trying to re-skill people to operate in a modernised way. The benefits of the programme is that it will make cargo processing faster while it will also make doing business easier."

The changes as of October include the alignment to the WCO 3 data model. In the first quarter of 2011 new CD1 and CN1 forms will be introduced and electronic supporting documents will be introduced. Beyond the first quarter a new warehouse and rebate management system will be introduced.

Sourced by SA - The Good News via BuaNews


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