was designed to track international relief consignments in emergencies to facilitate planning, customs processing and reporting.
A main challenge of was to receive reliable and complete information about relief contributions from donors and humanitarian agencies.
We are in process of redesigning to retrieve information about international relief shipments automatically and directly from customs authorities of affected countries, which will result in more complete and accurate information about international relief
This is done in close cooperation with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Already 35 years ago, UNCTAD has developed the application "Automated System for Customs Data" (ASYCUDA), to enable paperless customs management. The software is now used in more than 95 countries, and helps customs officials to process incoming goods faster and more efficiently.
OCHA and UNCTAD have decided to build on the success of ASYCUDA and enhance ASYCUDA with the additional module "Automated System for Customs Relief Emergency Consignments" (ASYREC).
ASYREC will facilitate the prioritisation and rapid processing of humanitarian relief consignments in disasters and humanitarian emergencies.
will retrieve data of international emergency relief directly from ASYREC to support operational planning and reporting.
Functioning of the new integrated system ( + ASYREC)
In emergencies, the ASYREC module will be activated by the affected country together with the request for international assistance, or when special customs facilitation measures need to be put into place in an already ongoing emergency.
The new system will bring many advantages:
Relief consignments can be clearly indicated as “humanitarian relief” by sending agencies or donors, so that they can easily be recognized and prioritized by customs authorities
Identified priority needs can be entered and updated in the system during the disaster, to allow more rapid processing of those items by customs authorities.
Prior to disasters, customs authorities can enter trustworthy humanitarian donors into the system, with the result that shipments from these agencies are processed with priority in a “green lane” in emergencies.
Different types of humanitarian relief can be associated with national customs law by the affected country (e.g. exemption from import tax), enabling completely automated processing and release of these goods by customs authorities without delays.
will receive data from ASYREC and will provide an accurate overview of incoming relief to member states to improve the planning of the international humanitarian response
Rolling out the new system
The development of the ASYREC software prototype has been completed in 2015 and is ready for testing and deployment. In the course of 2016, UNCTAD and OCHA will select pilot countries to test the system and identify needs for improvement. Procedures and guidelines will be developed and tested in simulation exercises to ensure that national authorities and shipping agencies are comfortable with the system and become ready to use the module.
will be upgraded to meet the new purpose in late 2016 and early 2017.
The project is managed in close cooperation between OCHA, UNCTAD, and the World Customs Organisation (WCO), who have created a Focus Task Force on “Improving the efficiency of dispatch of humanitarian assistance and customs processing” in 2015 in the auspices of the Consultative Group for Emergency Preparedness and Response. The Focus Task Force will report on the progress of ASYREC at the next annual Humanitarian Networks and Partnership Week, which will take place from 6 to 10 February 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.
For further information, please contact Ms. Virginie Bohl (ACSU/OCHA), at firstname.lastname@example.org.