Online payment of customs duty to begin soon: Hakimi
KABUL (Pajhwok): Traders across the country would soon have the facility to pay customs duties electronically through any commercial bank, the finance minister said on Wednesday.
Online payments will obviate the need to pay in cash at specific customs sites to clear trade goods. “This new system will allow them to pay fees at any bank in Afghanistan,” said Eklil Hakimi.
“Trade is vital to our economy and e-payment will help traders to do business more quickly and easily,” Hakimi was quoted as saying in a statement from the USAID.
The Afghanistan Customs Department (ACD) and Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), with support from USAID’s Afghanistan Trade and Revenue project, implemented the first electronic payment of customs duties.
Called E-Pay, the facility was made available in Kabul and Mazar-i Sharif in 2015.Almost 25 percent of customs duties at the Hamid Karzai International Airport are now paid through E-Pay.
In June 2016, ACD and DAB started phasing in E-Pay in other locations, including at Andkhoy, Herat, Islam Qala, Torghundai, Torkham, Kandahar, Wesh, Khost City, Nimoroz, and Kunduz.
“This is a major step toward aligning Afghanistan with international best practices and facilitating trade,” said USAID Mission Director Herbert Smith. “E-Pay helps traders save time, improve securityand reduce opportunities for corruption.”
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