In a significant development for Sri Lanka’s apparel industry, for the first time, Sri Lanka’s SME apparel exporters are to be linked to the much awaited global customs electronic system.
“If our current preparations continue as planned, we can link our SME apparel exporters’ shipments to the ASYCUDA global e-system by May 2013. This could enhance our SME apparel sector exports thereby enhancing our $2.8 Bn apparel volume” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce yesterday (4).
The SME apparel exporters themselves requested the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to take new initiatives in this regard and as a result, more than 220 registered SME apparel manufacturers would benefit from ASYCUDA’s apparel export module to be commenced by Industry and Commerce Ministry in May ’13. In 2012, Sri Lanka’s apparel exports recorded $ 2.83 Bn earnings of which $1.53 Bn was from the US and $ 1.86 Bn was from the EU despite the challenging situation in these segments.
ASYCUDA developed in Geneva by UNCTAD, is a computerized custom management system which covers most foreign trade procedures and handles manifests and customs declarations, accounting procedures, transit and suspense procedures. It operates on micro in a client server environment under UNIX and DOS operating systems and RDBMS Software. Industry Ministry’s initial implantation cost in this global system is a low amount of $15000.
Once they are linked, the SME apparel exporters will not be required to submit their export shipment documentations called Proposed Shipment Declaration (PSD) format, in multiple copies -to various agencies such as Industry Ministry as well as Customs. Instead, by a single click of a mouse under ASYCUDA, can submit to all the agencies at once, immediately and receive export shipment clearance thereat, stated the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.