Brokers & Freight Forwarders Lament Chronic ASYCUDA Problems

The Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of Jamaica, says there’s a chronic problem with the Jamaica Customs Agency’s Automated System for Customs Data, ASYCUDA.

President of the Freight Forwarders Association of Jamaica, Mitzie Gordon Burke, says the system experiences failures almost every day, resulting in delays.

She acknowledges that there’s been some improvement to the system. But, Mrs. Gordon Burke says the lion’s share of the problems remain.

Mitzie Gordon Burke, President of the Freight Forwarders Association of Jamaica, speaking last evening during a Nationwide News special town hall on Doing Business with the Customs Agency.

ASYCUDA is a web-based application implemented in 2016 to improve efficiency at the Customs Agency.

It’s experienced a number of failures, including in April, ahead of the busy Easter period.

In the meantime, the Customs Agency says it’s conducting continued improvements to the ASYCUDA system.

Chief Information Officer at Jamaica Customs Agency, Andre Williams, says some changes were made to address a number of issues with the system, up to three weeks ago.

Mr. Williams says the agency also has established fail-safe processing measures for when the ASYCUDA becomes non-functional.

However, he admits, these may include manual methods.

Last week the Commissioner of Customs, Velma Ricketts Walker told the media that international experts were reviewing the ASYCUDA system.