Presently, the transition from ASYCUDA++ to ASYCUDA World has been resulting in significant loss of revenue for businesses in the retail and distribution sector. This has been occasioned by the inability of some businesses to replenish their stock in a timely manner.
Additionally, the increased costs that businesses are incurring in demurrage and storage costs can trickle down to consumers of affected goods if incurred for a protracted period of time.
We are cognizant that the migration process will result in some levels of delays and challenges to the business community. The Barbados Chamber of Commerce (BCCI) has been in continuous dialogue with the Customs & Excise Department and the ASYCUDA World (AW) Project team with a view to bringing to their attention the issues, concerns and challenges being experienced by our members during the migration from ASYCUDA ++ to ASYCUDA World.
Responses from the Customs & Excise Department and new Comptroller of Customs have been positive. As part of our mandate to serve as a liaison between the government and the business community, the Executive Committee of the BCCI and the Chair of our Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee met with the new Comptroller and Deputies on Friday September 06, 2019. The areas discussed at the meeting included, inter alia:
- Access to ASYCUDA Portal;
- Warehousing Concerns;
- Lack of Communication; and
- Tariff Concerns
The Comptroller of Customs has also designated a member of the ASYCUDA World Project team to serve as liaison with the BCCI to respond to the issues, challenges and concerns raised by members to the BCCI Secretariat.
However, while these efforts to ensure regular communication with the business community are positive, the business community continues to be severely and negatively impacted by issues arising during the transition. It is hoped that the shipping companies and the Barbados Port relax some of the associated costs during the transition to AW given the impact to the business sector and the potential impact on the cost of goods.
September 14, 2019