WCO conducts a diagnostic mission for Single Window in Comoros

11 diciembre 2017

The World Customs Organisation (WCO) with the support of Comoros Customs Administration organized a diagnostic mission from 27 November to 1 December 2017, to assist Comoros in evaluating the feasibility for Single Window implementation. From a strategic planning perspective, the mission focussed on identifying gaps in adopting a coordinated border management (CBM) approach and building a Single Window Environment.

In his welcome note, the Director General of Comoros Customs Administration Mr Souef Kamalidini, underscored the progressive steps taken up by his administration towards improving the effectiveness of Customs operations towards facilitating trade and thanked the WCO for assisting Comoros in identifying organisational, regulatory and procedural requirements for implementing trade facilitation agenda and strengthening institutional capacity.

Being the inception mission, it was aimed at evaluating the “as is” situation, prevailing at high-traffic sea ports including the current state of business processes relating to the clearance of import, export and transit cargo. The assessment exercise included the observation of processes and interviews/consultations with relevant managers and technical staff from Customs, other cross-border regulatory agencies and stakeholders including Ministry of Finance, Transport, Quarantine, Port Authority, Chamber of Commerce, Customs Brokers, Terminal Operators etc.

Comoros’s organisational, regulatory and procedural aspects relevant for the implementation of a Single Window Project including the acceptability of electronic documents, licenses, permits, certificates and other related controls and the exchange of information between and among various government agencies concerning the movement of goods across borders were examined in the context of already available institutional mechanisms to facilitate trade. The WCO Experts in association with Comoros officials evaluated the functional relevance and readiness of Comoros Customs Administration and other agencies in supporting the implementation of ICT solutions for facilitating international trade.

The WCO experts also visited the ports of Moroni (Grand Comoro Island) and Mutsamudu (Anjouan Island) and identified key operational areas, associated business processes and documentary requirements for reviewing and harmonising them as a step forward.

This strategic assessment of the progress of reform and modernization activities taken up by Comoros Customs conducted with the support of the WCO would help Comoros in initiating the process for establishing necessary requirements in place for further reforms and modernization, including the implementation of an electronic Single Window. Based on this evaluation mission, the WCO would provide recommendations and tailor-made capacity building support to Comoros for enhancing effective coordination between Customs and other border agencies to reinforce trade facilitation reforms and for alignment of existing programmes and projects to progress towards a Single Window environment, taking into account the experiences and best practices from other countries that have successfully implemented similar trade facilitation initiatives.