St Helena, one of the remotest jurisdictions in the world, is introducing ASYCUDA (Automated System for Customs Data).
This web based system will improve efficiency and speed in the acceptance and clearance of cargo, tax and other paper transactions. It also provides for the clearance of goods and for payment online. The system allows for a one-stop gateway for HM Customs and Revenue business, providing Government with trade figures and statistics in real time which is invaluable for budgeting and planning.
The development of the ASYCUDA system on St Helena signals the continuing improvement of HM Customs and Revenue’s service to the trade, public and Government, all of which will assist the Island in its future development.
Peter Henderson, Director General of HM Customs and Revenue on St Helena said:
“The ASYCUDA system will allow for simplified procedures that are clearly understood and transparent, while providing the level of service the community requires and deserves in the modern world. ASYCUDA will continue to develop in the future and we can look forward to further innovations.”
“While accepting electronic systems can improve our lives, we should never forget that there is an important human element in operating them and we are fortunate to have dedicated and professional staff, plus assistance from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).”
Reaching this point has taken a lot of hard work and dedication but now that the planning and procurement phases have been completed, St Helena staff – Juliette O’Dean, Customs Administrative Officer and Jeremy Roberts, Head of Information Technology – are now undergoing training by UNCTAD in Geneva to ensure the system can be installed and rolled out effectively on the Island.
The Introduction of the ASYCUDA system signifies a further step in the provision of E-government and ‘green’ government, and is important to the modernisation of the Island and its growing economy.
Notes for Editors:
At present St Helena is only accessible by sea on the Royal Mail Ship St Helena (RMS), which runs from Cape Town, South Africa, and Ascension Island. This however is changing with the building of an airport on the Island, scheduled to open in early 2016.
St Helena, one of the most isolated Islands in the world, was for centuries an important stopover for ships sailing to Asia and South Africa. The Island was also used as a place of exile, most notably for Napoleon, Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo (King of the Zulus) and more than 5,000 Boer prisoners.
St Helena is Britain’s second oldest remaining Overseas Territory.
HM Customs and Revenue
18 June 2013