WCO Capacity Building support provided to Timor-Leste

28 August 2014

In August 2014 a WCO Capacity Building support mission was undertaken to Timor-Leste. The mission was the third in a series of inputs as part of the Project for Customs Capacity Building for WCO members 2012-15 which is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). The aim of the project is to deliver technical assistance to seven countries in specific areas of Customs operations. As one of the countries participating in the project the assistance provided to Timor-Leste has been designed to strengthen their revenue collection capacity through implementation of improved working practices and procedures in the areas of Customs Valuation and Tariff Classification.

Through a series of interactive workshops the WCO Valuation expert worked with delegates from the Timor-Leste Customs Service (TLCS) to develop a series of policy papers on Customs Valuation. The workshops included a diverse range of delegates from Post Clearance Audit, Risk Management and the Valuation Unit. Those attending the event showed a high level of personal commitment to the programme working outside normal office hours and during a Public Holiday. The outcome of the workshop was extremely positive with policy papers being prepared on three separate matters identified by the delegates as being critical to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of import procedures.

The workshop also provided an opportunity for delegates to develop their technical skills, share best practice and to understand the inter-dependencies between Risk Management, Post-Clearance Audit, Valuation and Tariff Classification.

The workshop was closed by Mr. Julio Ximenes, National Director Border Compliance. Feedback from the event included many positive comments, "this will help us to do our job better", the content of the workshop was "really relevant" and the trainer was of "very high quality and professional".

A follow-up mission is planned for next month (September 2014) during which the WCO Project Manager, Mr. Philip Wood, will meet with the newly appointed Director-General of Customs to review progress and to agree the Project Work Plan for the next 12 months. Meetings will also be held with advisors supporting the Ministry of Finance and TLCS to ensure that the technical assistance provided by the project is coordinated with other agencies and donors.

For more information on the project for Customs Capacity Building for WCO Members 2012-15 please contact the Project Manager, Mr. Philip Wood (Philip.Wood@wcoomd.org).