Business

Jamaica Customs first to adopt latest version of ASYCUDA

Customs House Weekly

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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Jamaica is on the brink of creating history in the air freight industry, as it will be the first country to adopt the latest version of ASYCUDA World which now integrates the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Cargo-XML messaging standards.IATA's Cargo XML messaging standards is emerging as the preferred standard for electronic communication among industry stakeholders such as airlines, shippers, freight forwarders, customs, security and regulatory agencies worldwide.

This historic move results from collaboration between IATA, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, which now integrates IATA's Cargo-XML messaging standard into ASYCUDA World, the automated customs management system used by the JCA and over 90 other countries worldwide.

The integration of Cargo-XML in ASYCUDA World standardises electronic communications between airlines and customs authorities using the program.

The new standards will make it easier for airlines, freight forwarders and shippers to ensure that the information being provided to Jamaica Customs is of high quality, technically correct, and in line with the standards of industry bodies such as the World Customs Organization (WCO). It will also reduce message duplication and simplify communication across the supply chain.

As part of the implementation of these new messaging standards, the International Airline Training Fund – which is established by IATA to bridge industry training gaps – conducted training in the IATA XML Cargo messaging format among industry stakeholders (airlines and Customs) in Jamaica earlier this month.

The training, held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston, was facilitated under the umbrella of a collaborative agreement between IATA and the JCA, and was conducted to ensure that Jamaica is in line with the use of this new messaging format which has become the recommended best practice in the airline industry.

Consequent on this successful collaboration, the agency, as part of its ASYCUDA World implementation, will now pilot the new standards, commencing with selected airlines and freight forwarders in the air freight industry before expanding to other members of the airlines and freight-forwarding industry.

This new Cargo-XML standard is based on multi-modal and cross-border messaging and aims at facilitating cargo business processes, satisfying customs requirements for electronic advance cargo information (ACI) necessary for effective risk and security assessment of cargo prior to their arrival in the island.

The use of ACI to facilitate pre-arrival processing and release of cargo is consistent with Jamaica's obligation under the World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement. It also facilitates security requirements set out in the WCO's SAFE Framework of Standards, which Jamaica Customs abides by and which is necessary to ensure global supply chain security.

This move will ensure that airlines, freight forwarders, shippers and other stakeholders are 'speaking' the same digital language and is fundamental to enhancing efficiency, driving trade growth and maximising safety and security across the industry.

Jamaica Customs views the adoption and implementation of the most recent IATA Cargo XML standards as a critical step towards assisting the country in meeting its international obligations, improving cargo security, modernising customs procedures, and fostering participation in global commerce through advance electronic data submission for air cargo shipments.

This will further improve the risk management capabilities and operational efficiency of the agency, as was envisaged with the implementation of the ASYCUDA World Customs management system.


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