South African Revenue Service and Kenyan Revenue Authority Customs Services Department - Sharing and comparing practical risk management experience

18 July 2013

In the first week of July 2013, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) hosted two Kenyan Revenue (KRA) Customs Service Department (CSD) officers in Pretoria, South Africa, in order to share and compare practical risk management experience. The WCO also took part in this activity which formed part of the Eastern & Southern Africa (ESA) Customs Capacity Building program that is financed by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID). As part of their contributions to the program, the meeting in Pretoria was supported by SARS heads of departments and risk management unit practitioners, SARS’ reform and modernization department, and the SARS international unit.

In 2012, the WCO, SARS and DfID agreed on a project focused on the ESA region to:

  • Enhance revenue collection techniques;
  • Increase cooperation and coordination of policy and procedures among the regional Customs administrations and between Customs and trade;
  • Increase the use of modern Customs operational techniques, intelligence and risk management, information technology including interconnectivity, post clearance audit and effective anti smuggling; and
  • Improve levels of governance and integrity in Customs and trade.

Based on diagnostic missions undertaken by the WCO in the region, as well as priority needs expressed by Members, one of the specific sub-objectives of the program is "the introduction of modern techniques such as risk management that enables a focus on high-risk consignments". During the meeting, working relationships between officers of both administrations were strengthened which will facilitate further exchange of experience and learning from each others’ practices also in the future. The picture below shows a SARS officer explaining part of their risk management methodology to one of the KRA’s National Targeting Centre officers.