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First Extraordinary Meeting of the African Union Sub-Committee of Directors of Customs in Nigeria

29 mayo 2017

At the invitation of Mr. Albert Muchanga, Commissioner for Trade and Industry, African Union, WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya attended the First Extraordinary Meeting of the African Union Sub -Committee of Directors General of Customs (AUSCDGC), hosted by Nigeria Customs Service in Abuja, Nigeria, from 23 to 25 May, 2017.

Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance of Nigeria, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Ms. Treasure Maphanga, Director of theAfrican Union Commission's Department of Trade and Industry, Mr. Happias Kuzvinzwa, Commissioner General for Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and Chair of the AUSCDGC, Mr. Jerry Alagbaoso, House of Representatives, Committee on Customs, Senator Hope Uzodimma, and Secretary General Mikuriya addressed the delegates and highlighted various topics in their respective domains that were the subjects of subsequent presentations and discussions. 

In particular, the meeting recognized the need to: 1) develop a common strategic approach to maximise African impact internationally; 2) work actively towards the establishment and implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area; 3) boost Intra- Africa Trade by facilitating trade through predictable customs procedures, mutual administrative assistance, information exchange and enhanced co-ordinated border management including active engagement with the private sector; 4) address the challenges of the implementation of the WTO TFA, and make progress to increase the number of accessions to the TFA bearing in mind that the content of the TFA is largely based on the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC); 5) continue to increase the role of Customs in security and the fight against crime, terrorism and illicit financial flows; and 6) increase the use of digital technology to handle increased trade flows.

Were heard updates on current developments in the Nigeria Customs Service including security initiatives, the current state of play in the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area, the implications of the WTO TFA for African Customs and the WCO response including the Mercator programme, current developments in Regional organisations, and the ongoing negotiations on the import levy (0.2 per cent) for financing the African Union Commission.

Delegates also endorsed the outcomes of the recent Regional meetings on WCO governance matters whereby the decision of the 2016 Council should be respected and that status quo would continue to apply for both Secretary and Deputy Secretary General’s elections. 

Secretary General Mikuriya and the Heads of Customs paid a courtesy call to the Acting President of Nigeria, Honourable Yemi Osinbajo. The Acting President underlined the importance of Customs in driving regional integration through facilitating trade and also contributing to border security.  He therefore emphasized the critical role of Customs’ cooperation that the AUSCDGC will work to enhance.

The Secretary General joined with delegations to thank the Nigeria Customs Service for the excellent arrangements and hospitality extended to all delegates.