European Union helps modernise Customs Clearance process in B&H

IMG_7219The Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) of BiH launched the new EU-funded Information Application ASYCUDA WORLD at the Customs Office in Banja Luka on 27 November 2015.

The application consists of the most advanced information technology tools. It will enable the speeding up of the customs clearance process, improving transparency in the work of the customs service and better risk-analysis due to real-time reporting.

The business community will benefit from the usage of the application, especially due to a comprehensive bank guarantee of the customs procedure and the possibility of conducting paperless business, obtaining an electronic signature, and performance of business operations under the concept of the “Single Window”.

In her opening remarks, Chloe Berger, Head of Section of Justice and Home Affairs, and Public Administration Reform at the EU Delegation to BiH, stressed that the EU recognises ITA as one of the key institutions in the country. “The EU will continue to support ITA. Within IPA 2014 we have earmarked over 3 million euro to the ITA as we are aware that this institution is evolving every day,” Berger added.

Antonio Blanco, representative of European Commission’s Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union, emphasised that the new application will save time and money for the traders also pointing out future challenges. “The new system’s focus on trade facilitation shows also its ability to deal with simplified procedures. BiH’s new Custom Policy Law provides for a number of these. However these simplifications won’t be available immediately because the Implementing Provisions to the Customs Policy Law have yet to be adopted. Both the EU and the traders look forward to their speedy adoption,” Blanco concluded.

Miro Džakula, Director General of ITA, expressed gratitude for the continuous EU support noting that the EU assistance to ITA since 2004 amounts to 36 million euro.

The first release of the new IT application was carried out at the Customs Office Banja Luka. The application will be operational in all other customs offices throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina by April 2016. The European Union funded the development of the application at a total cost of 2 million euro through the IPA 2010 programme. The project started in January 2014,  is implemented by UNCTAD from Geneva and will ensure that all procedures in the customs clearance process will be compatible with EU rules.

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