WCO missions to Swaziland to support implementation of an advance ruling system and to strengthen infrastructure for tariff classification, origin and valuation work

03 marzo 2016

The WCO recently conducted two back-to-back missions for the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA), focusing on the areas of classification, origin and valuation.

During the first week, from 15 to 19 February 2016, WCO facilitators carried out a diagnostic programme to evaluate current procedures and infrastructure relating to tariff classification, origin and valuation work. Meetings were held with senior managers and heads of valuation, risk management and post-clearance audit. A visit was also made to an operational station to view Customs controls of import declarations. A one-day workshop was held for selected staff on key valuation issues and latest international developments. Based on the information obtained during this part of the programme, the WCO will provide advice to SRA to assist in strengthening infrastructure and the relevant controls in the key areas.

During the second week, from 22 to 25 February 2016, WCO facilitators conducted a WCO Revenue Package national Workshop with the aim of preparing for the implementation of an advance ruling system for classification and origin, as required under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, and for valuation.

The representatives of the WCO focused on the importance of a well-organized classification, origin and valuation infrastructure as well as well-defined and effective classification, origin and valuation practices before introducing the advance ruling system.

Presentations were made on the theoretical and practical understanding and implementation of the WCO materials developed under the WCO Revenue Package Phase II, such as the Guidelines on Customs Infrastructure for Tariff Classification, Origin and Valuation and the Technical Guidelines on Advance Rulings for Classification, Origin and Valuation.

Six senior and mid-level managers participated in the discussions and used the WCO Diagnostic Tool on Tariff Classification, Valuation and Origin Work and Related Infrastructure to assess the current situation and to identify areas for attention. As a result, a number of action points in relation to an advance ruling system, such as requirements for the legislative framework, procedures, record keeping and rulings database were suggested. Compliance management, the procedure for dispute settlement and capacity building for SRA staff, traders and customs brokers were also considered.

With Swaziland being a Member of SACU (the South African Customs Union), a consultation forum with other SACU countries to improve the work at regional level and the establishment of a customs laboratory at national level, a regional (SACU) laboratory, or using a private laboratory were also given attention.

The Commissioner General, Mr. Dumsani E. Masilela, and the Commissioner of Customs, Mr. I.V Mazorodze, both emphasised that SRA was committed to meeting its international obligations and they thanked the WCO for its continued support. The advance ruling system would be included in the annual plan and full attention would be given to the project in the coming financial year.

The Secretariat will continue its support in this respect.