Afghan Customs Houses to be Computerized Within Two Years

Kabul, January 25, 2006 - Afghan custom houses will be computerized in two years according to the internationally approved Automated System for Custom Data (ASYCUDA).

The ASYCUDA, a computerized system was recommended to developing countries at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD. ASYCUDA comprises a collective computer programme that covers customs procedures, including import, export and transit.

Manager of the ASYCUDA Malyar Jabbarkhel said first the system would be installed in Jalalabad-Torkham for transparent transit system in the next month and would later be extended to Hairatan-Mazar-i-sharif and Islamqala of Herat.

A big chunk of the US$25 million budget specified by the World Bank (WB) would be spent on the implementation of the AYSCUDA system in two years.

Currently the customs houses are working without computers. Finance Ministry Advisor Raza Mohammadi said the computer network would enable the head office of custom to report the daily activities. Initially, they would train a ten-member team that would later impart computer skills to other comrades, he added.

About 84 countries around the world were using the AYSCUDA system and they deal about $470 billion through this system. Afghanistan would be the 85 th country where this system would be applied.