Customs modernization in Bosnia and Herzegovina

05 March 2018

At the invitation of Mr. Miro Džakula, Director General of the Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) of Bosnia and Herzegovina, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited ITA’s Headquarters in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 2 March 2018. 

Secretary General Mikuriya had a meeting with Mr. Džakula, Mr. Jovan Millovanovic, Assistant Director for the Customs Sector, and the ITA management team to discuss future cooperation between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the WCO, during which the ITA’s recent progress was described.

The ITA’s representatives placed particular emphasis on (i) last year’s successful record of revenue collection from Customs taxes, forming a major source of government revenue; (ii) legislation, and especially the work done on ratification of the Revised Kyoto Convention and accession to the transit system; and (iii) information technology, and more specifically the migration from ASYCUDA ++ to the ASYCUDA World system. 

 They also expressed their determination to address illicit trade through their participation in WCO programmes, which had recently resulted in the seizure of a huge amount of heroin in transit.  Although Bosnia and Herzegovina has already benefited from the WCO's in-country activities to share best practices in a variety of areas, the meeting enabled the ITA to elaborate further on its needs and priorities for continued progress with Customs reform.  One of the top priorities identified was human resource development.

Secretary General Mikuriya also gained an appreciation of the political, geographical and cultural context in which the ITA operates.  Both sides explored ways to best facilitate Bosnia and Herzegovina’s integration into the global and regional economy through enhanced efficiency and effectiveness of Customs.  

In addition, Secretary General Mikuriya took the opportunity to meet with former participants in the WCO Fellowship Programme and Customs Laboratory Programme.