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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Customs overhaul coming

Customs overhaul coming

A centralised customs clearance system designed to drastically speed processing times will be phased in across the country following its country launch at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in May.

Phnom Penh Autonomous Port was ready to introduce the Asean Single Window (ASW) information system as soon as it received the go-ahead from customs, Director General Hei Bavy said.

"We have already prepared the computer system and we have enough staff to implement the Asean Single Window," he said, adding that the Phnom Penh International Airport was also ready to introduce the ASW.

The agreement to link the  region with a unified customs system went into effect in 2008 in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam are set to fully implement the system by 2012.

When completed, it would allow a trader to submit customs data to a centralised hub, which would then be automatically shared and processed among the relevant agencies throughout the region. After clearing one regional port of entry, traders would be able to forward goods to any Asean country.

The system would cut clearance times to 30 minutes from a regional average of four hours, Sihanoukville Autonomous Port Deputy Director General Ma Sunhout said.

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