WCO Secretary General visits Namibia to support the modernization of NamRA

14 July 2022

From 11 to 13 July, at the invitation of Mr. Sam Shivute, Commissioner of the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA), Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), visited Windhoek, capital of Namibia and Walvis Bay, a port town on the coast of Namibia. During his visit, NamRA launched an Advance Ruling Programme.

Secretary General Mikuriya reviewed the progress of NamRA, with its founding Commissioner appointed in 2020 and the management team, and later had a dialogue session with the officers of NamRA. He appreciated the ongoing efforts to build and consolidate the institution and the support of the Board of Directors. He noted the quick progress in adopting WCO programmes, including the UNODC-WCO Container Control Program (CCP) in September 2021 and the AEO Programme in April 2022.

Dr. Mikuriya had a series of meetings with political leaders, including H.E. Saara Kuugongelwa, the Prime Minister, H.E. Iipumbu Shiimi, the Minister of Finance, and H.E. Lucia Iipumbu, the Minister of Industrialization and Trade. They all supported the newly established NamRA in its endeavour to become a world class institution by implementing international standards and best practices offered by the WCO. He also had a courtesy call with Ms. Paulina Mbala Elago, the Executive Secretary of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), and her team, to explore ways to further enhance cooperation with the WCO.

During the launch of the Advance Ruling Programme, supported by the EU-WCO Programme for Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme), Dr. Mikuriya congratulated NamRA on providing enhanced transparency and predictability to the trading community. He added that the Programme will improve the business climate and risk management capabilities along the supply chain while reducing disputes during the clearance of goods. A stakeholders’ session followed the launching event and provided knowledge and guidance on HS 2022 and advance ruling to businesses.

Dr. Mikuriya travelled by road to Walvis Bay, one of the regional transport and trade hub for the southern African countries. He met with the Governor of the region as well as with Customs officers of NamRA at the Custom House. He also exchanged views with the Namibia Port Authority and was informed about its expansion plan and collaboration with Customs. Dr. Mikuriya also visited the NamRA Port Control Unit and appreciated the targeting of illicit trade with the support of the CCP Programme and the positive results obtained.

The visit of the Secretary General was widely covered by the local media, including radio and television channels.