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The WCO supports Gambia Revenue Authority and stakeholders with the TRS data analysis and report drafting

12 noviembre 2019

The World Customs Organization (WCO) facilitated a 9-day workshop from 10 to 18 October 2019 in Banjul, The Gambia. The program aimed to assist the Time Release Study (TRS) Working Group (WG) in data analysis and in preparation of an initial version of a TRS report. This mission was made possible with financial support from the German Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and was led by two Experts from the Customs Administrations of Cameroon and Mauritius.

The opening ceremony to the work program was chaired by the Deputy Commissioner General of Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. Essa Jallow. He thanked all the agencies that have agreed to get involved in the TRS initiative and emphasized the positive outcomes expected. He then urged the participants to actively contribute to the program and benefit from the know-how of WCO experts in TRS data analysis and report writing. He also thanked the WCO and German Government for the strong support which is highly appreciated by the entire Gambian government.

During the first two days, , the WG composed of eleven members, coming from the main institutions involved in the clearance process, presented the work done to date to ensure that all the participants have the same level of information on the ongoing TRS program. Reference was made to the initial WCO TRS workshop held in February this year, and during which an Action Plan for the TRS Project was elaborated. The remaining days were dedicated to data analysis and to the drafting of the TRS report.

As regards data analysis, participants were guided on how to process the collected TRS data and how to supplement them with additional information retrieved from ASYCUDA, the system operated by the GRA Customs Department. This information was merged into a single database which was thereafter cleaned and structured so as to facilitate the analysis. Proper data analysis was then triggered with the involvement of all stakeholders.  The results of the analysis were presented through charts and graphs and were included in the draft Report.

As regards report writing, a preliminary report was presented to all stakeholders for approval. On the basis of the results of the different analyses, a list of recommendations was included in the report. A draft action plan for implementation was also discussed and incorporated therein.

At the closing, members of the WG agreed that the objective of the workshop had been met. The Deputy Commissioner General of GRA, expressed his appreciation for the achievements of the WG and reiterated his gratitude to the WCO and the GIZ. He further stressed the positive impact that the TRS is expected to have on the economy of Gambia and looked forward to the publication of the report. The WCO representatives also expressed recognition of the substantial work completed by the WG and assured the latter and the GRA of the continued support of the WCO.