At the invitation of Lebanese Customs, the WCO conducted a workshop on the ‘Development of a Pre-arrival Processing System’ in Beirut, Lebanon from 24 to 26 June 2015. 20 middle-ranking officials from various divisions such as risk management, procedures, inspection, and IT participated in the workshop.
Based on the current national situation in Lebanese Customs, the WCO presented detailed information on the need and benefits of pre-arrival processing together with a step by step implementation approach. Relevant provisions of various instruments and tools such as the Revised Kyoto Convention, the SAFE Framework of Standards, the Guidelines concerning Integrated Supply Chain Management, Application of Information and Communication Technology and Immediate Release, and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement along with successful case studies were explained to participants.
Detailed discussions were held in the particular context of developing a pre-arrival processing system in Lebanon, based on the advance cargo information for an efficient risk assessment and speedy release, and wherever possible clearance of the consignments on arrival.
Participants jointly elaborated several challenges and potential solutions e.g. political will, administrative commitment, change of mindset, cooperation with other government agencies and business, and IT requirements in terms of advance declaration filing, risk management and automated processing.
Being an inception workshop, participants gained an enhanced understanding with a wider perspective on developing the pre-arrival processing system. The workshop also enabled the participants to develop a draft action plan along with a set of recommendations and identify possible ways forward in making necessary amendment/adjustments in their national legislation/regulations with a view to potentially carry out a pilot in the near future.