By Phiwa Sikhondze
The Eswatini Communications Commission (ESCCOM) is working on developing a centralized system that will enable all courier service providers in the country to connect and do pre-declarations online.
The system is earmarked to help reduce delays and improve the efficiency of the courier services industry. ESCCOM announced this initiative during the commemoration of International Customs Day 2024 last week Friday, at the ERS headquarters.
Making his remarks, ESCCOM’’s Director of Technical Services Thulani Fakudze, noted that they are looking at the processes and challenges that affect the quality of service delivery in the sector.
One of the main challenges that ESCCOM identified is the lack of appropriate equipment and systems among most of the courier service providers, especially the smaller ones, to do the declarations and connect with the customs authorities.
“What we have found is that most courier service providers do not have the appropriate systems and equipment. They do not have the appropriate systems that they can use in terms of doing their respective declarations, and how they can connect. There are just no systems in place. So what we are working on at this stage is assisting couriers to have a centralized system that can be used by everyone,” Fakudze said.
As a solution to these challenges, Fakudze assured that the centralized system will allow the courier service providers to check, submit, and track their declarations online, as well as to enjoy the benefits of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program, which grants them expedited clearance and reduced inspections at the border. He said that ESCCOM has already developed the specifications for the centralized system and is in the process of applying it.
“So we are in the process of applying a general system that can be used by all the courier service providers for checking and for doing all other functionalities that we would like to do, including the pre-declaration,” he said.
He concluded by thanking ERS and the World Customs Organization (WCO) for their support and collaboration in the development and implementation of the postal and courier services licensing guidelines.