Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua was impressed with the recently introduced computerized system at the Customs and Excise Division.

Dr Sikua who visited the Division as part of his final Ministerial visit was told that the Modernized system - called PC/Trade, has improved Customs procedures and increases the speed and reduces the cost of bringing goods in and out of the country.

Comptroller of Customs, Nathan Kama said the modernization program has brought Solomon Islands Customs and Excise Division up to international standards.

He said the PC/Trade system has sped up international trade to and from the country and strengthened the capacity of local staff to monitor the value and quantity of imported goods.

PC/Trade is Customs software developed by Statistics New Zealand (a New Zealand Government Agency) for a number of Pacific Island countries to process import and export entries and at the same time provides valuable trade statistics.

Its installation in the Customs Division is one of the final steps of a joint Government-RAMSI project with support from NZAID to help modernize and streamline customs processes and procedures.

Mr Kama said the program has made Customs more effective, efficient and equitable.

"This project has assisted in the enforcement of laws and regulations governing cargo movements across the borders of the Solomon Islands," Mr. Kama said.

Dr Sikua said the system is a welcomed development because the Customs and Excise Division is the window of trade between Solomon Islands and overseas countries.

He said improved Customs procedures certainly mean improved revenue collection for the government.

The Prime Minister and his party were taken on a brief site visit to offices and facilities at the Customs Division Premises including the Honiara International Sea Port.

Dr Sikua said the visit is an opportunity to gather useful information about the strengths and challenges that Customs and Excise as one of the most important government divisions is facing.

The Prime Minister used the visit to thank staff of the Division for their contributions towards the public service and the country as a whole.

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