The Department of Customs of Nepal hosted an ASYREC pilot programme. The workshop was held from 23-27 July in Kathmandu, and was opened by the Revenue Secretary, the Director General of Customs, the Deputy Director of Customs as well as representatives from the Office of the Resident Coordinator, UNCTAD and OCHA. The objective of the workshop was to test and customize the ASYREC software to the Nepalese environment. Participants from the Department of Customs and other key governmental entities, as well as representatives from DHL, UPS, WFP, WHO, Courrier Association of Nepal among others, attended this five-days programme.

Participants of the ASYREC Pilot Programme held in Kathmandu, Nepal

The Department of Customs of Nepal has been using ASYCUDA++ over the past years, including when the earthquake hit the country in 2015. However, at that time, there was no list of predefined items that could benefit from customs facilitation measures in the event of a disaster. As a consequence of this, no priority was given to live-saving items. On the aftermath of the disaster, the Department of Customs started to work on a study with a focus on how to improve customs clearance procedures for relief items.

At the third Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week held in Geneva in February 2017, the Director General and Deputy Director General of Customs shared their experience and attended the presentation of the new software, ASYREC, which will be integrated into ASYCUDA as a module for Relief Emergency Consignments. After this meeting, Nepal agreed to being one of the pilot countries to test and customize ASYREC to the needs of their country. 

In the upcoming months, ASYREC will be customized to the needs of Nepal for future implementation and use in the event of a disaster. This software will speed up the processing of international relief items in emergencies.

More information on ASYREC is available at www.asyrec.org.