Myanmar’s Automated Customs in Chaos


Myanmar’s new automated customs system, launched November 2016 at Yangon port, is causing longer waiting times for clearing cargo — resulting in the nation-wide roll-out being delayed.

The disruption has caused importers to complain and International firm CEA Projects Logistics to warn customers that the Myanmar Automated Cargo Clearance System (MACCS) is adding to longer waiting times at Yangon customs, which is now taking between 15 and 20 working days at the port and between 12 and 15 working days at the airport. 

Senior customs officials have warned that cross-border traders will need to manually fill out forms for another year due to a lack of internet access and training.

MACCS is meant to be automating registration, payment of fees and tax valuations at Yangon customs.

“Although we have seen improvement since its launch the online customs department still adapting to the new system causing inevitable delays,” CEA Projects Logistics told The Myanmar Times.

An anonymous customs department official told The Myanmar Times that staff training had been inadequate and that various “inconveniences” had prompted many complaints from traders.

U Win Thant, Director of Myanmar Customs Department and MACCS, has said that the system will not be adopted at other border points until next year.

This is due to the lack of internet access and computers, in addition to customs staff and traders needing training, and has meant a delay in the adoption of MACCS at border points.

Thant said: “We have already conducted a study at the Myawaddy border point [with Thailand] but [MACCS] can’t be used at the moment. We expect the system to be available at border points in 2018.”

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