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Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Public Relations Information Office) 28.09.2013 (Article Archived on 26.10.2013)

St Helena is soon to introduce the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA).



St Helena is soon to
introduce the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA). This web based
system will improve efficiency and speed in the acceptance and clearance of
cargo, tax and other paper transactions. As well as improving and developing
Government and statistical information; vital for accurate planning and


To install and operate the new
system, Government Officers, Jeremy Roberts, Head of Corporate IT and Juliette
O’Dean, Customs Administrative Officer recently underwent a programme of
training in Geneva.


Delivered by one of the key
developers of the ASYCUDA system, Fabian Joseph, the training programme taught
Jeremy and Juliette how to use the system and how to then pass their skills on
to train colleagues on St Helena. Training was delivered in a dual classroom
environment incorporating both Customs and IT systems simultaneously.


As Head of IT Jeremy’s training
focused on the technical elements of the ASYCUDA system and with the help of
his team at IT he will be supporting the system and maintaining the management
of the project here on St Helena. During the duration of the project
professional support will also be given from the United Nations Conference on
Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Jeremy explained:


“The introduction of the
ASYCUDA system to St Helena will allow Customs and Revenue to become more
efficient and drive innovation across the whole of the Island. However we must
recognise that once it gets rolled out it’s not going to be an instant fix to
everything. We are therefore fortunate to have the professional support from
our trainer in Geneva who helped to develop the system; any changes made to the
software will also be filtered through to St Helena if felt it would work with
our system.”


Juliette’s role is a more functional
one in that she will manage the day to day operation of the system, trouble
shooting and dealing with staff, government and public enquiries. In moving
forward Juliette’s first task is to get the system up and running within the
Customs and Revenue section and train Customs and Revenue staff to use the
system. Next month IT will deliver a live trial version of the system which
will allow Juliette to train her staff over the next three months. During this
time IT will continue to build the infrastructure needed to operate the system
before it is rolled out to the public. Following staff training the Traders and
Brokers will then be trained


It is expected that the system
will be rolled out within the next six months.


Juliette explained the benefits of
the ASYCUDA system:


“Having the ASYCUDA system
on St Helena will move us away from a paper based system to an electronic one.
This will then enable Customs and Revenue operations to use more streamlined
procedures which will not only benefit Customs and Revenue, but the public as

With the new system Customs
entries will need to be electronically submitted through ASYCUDA by the
importer themselves.


Juliette continued:


“Everyone will be able to
access ASYCUDA via the internet, so customers can pre-clear their goods before
collecting from Customs, making the process quicker and more efficient.”

Jeremy added:

“The system will enable
Customs and Revenue procedures to become more bearable. We recognise that it
will take time for merchants and brokers to get used to the new procedures and
we are not expecting people to know everything within the first two months.
However people will need to learn these new procedures as eventually the system
will be expanded to the airport site and Rupert’s.

“This is just the first
stepping stone which means that in the near future further personnel will need
to undergo overseas training or a trainer from the UN will need to visit the
Island in order for the system to grow and develop.”


SHG would like to thank Peter
Henderson, Director General of HM Customs and Revenue who recommended
introducing the system to St Helena, staff at HM Customs for their hard work,
DfID for their financial assistance, the UNCTAD team in Geneva and Jeremy and
Juliette for undertaking the training to enable the project to be delivered



The ASYCUDA system was funded by
the Department for International Development.

The system to be used on St Helena
is the most up to date version of the software and was designed by a dedicated
team from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The system can be found in over
100 jurisdictions worldwide but this is the first time for it to be introduced
on an Island as remote as St Helena. (NB Montserrat is smaller than St Helena
and has the system).

The new Apprenticeship Scheme approved in March this year will be
officially launched at the Careers Fair during the opening of the Fair at 10 am
on Wednesday the 9 October 2013. This Scheme makes provision for people of
differing ages to access work based training and academic studies. The scheme
aims to provide purposeful and interesting training and study programmes to
give people an opportunity to develop in their chosen field and improve their employability.


The new
Apprenticeship Scheme replaces the Youth Training Scheme which mainly focused
on developing practical skills in the work place. In addition to the
development of practical skills, the new Apprenticeship Scheme aims to
incorporate opportunities to achieve accreditation.


scheme makes provision for four bands, in which successful candidates can
select the level of training and qualifications they require. Band 4 requires
higher level of assessed training in the workplace and a higher level of
qualifications opposed to a lower level in Band 1.


have been approximately 35 individuals who have made applications for
apprenticeships, 23 have been placed within construction, automotive, nursing
and clerical fields whilst studying towards their relevant qualifications which
includes, Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQ’s), National Vocational
Qualifications (NVQ’s) and General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE’s).


completion of the Apprenticeship scheme, those successful receive certificates,
assessment of work reports, accredited qualifications and a bonus.


those interested in taking part in the apprenticeship scheme contact Cynthia
Bennett, Work Development Coordinator on Tel: 2607 or Email: or attend the Careers Fair on the 9 October to learn more through the
scheduled Apprenticeship presentation.



September 2013



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