Tanzania Revenue Authority to enhance Classification skills with support from WCO, Spanish Customs and Norad

18 November 2013

The need to design and implement performing HS Classification systems is common to many countries where trade facilitation and revenue collection play a key role in the generation of resources for social and economic development.

In this area the WCO is providing support to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) through the project "Customs Capacity Building for Member States 2012-2015", funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). At TRA the coordination of this joint initiative is under the responsibility of the Department of Trade Facilitation and Procedures.

The expected results are deeper Classification technical knowledge for HS specialists and for Post-Clearance Audit staff, and a framework for effective Classification training for non-specialists. Equally, together with TRA, possibilities of improving processes for issuing binding tariff information by Customs are also being examined.

The first activity implemented in this framework was a train-the-trainers workshop for potential trainers within TRA, which took place from November 4 to 8, 2013 and was facilitated by a classification expert from the WCO Secretariat and a WCO-accredited expert from TRA itself. The action plan developed with the future trainers includes the delivery of 4-5 training courses over the next 12 months, in order to reach around 250 TRA officers dealing with Classification at Customs headquarters and at border posts.

Supported by the Spanish Customs Administration, which seconded a Customs Laboratory expert to Tanzania, a feasibility study for the establishment of a laboratory was carried out from November 11 to 15, 2013. TRA aims at Customs in due time having direct access to a laboratory dedicated to doing analyses for HS Classification purposes. Work by TRA and the WCO experts during the mission concentrated on carrying out a detailed study on the possible location, design and appropriate infrastructure of the future Customs laboratory.

Much of the material used to provide advice and training to TRA is based on the instruments produced by the WCO, including the HS e-learning modules and the Customs Laboratory Guide.