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WCO conducts a Diagnostic mission on Post Clearance Audit for Palestine

05 December 2017

Following the evaluation of the delivery of tailor-made track of the Mercator Programme for Palestine in July 2017, an updated MERCATOR Implementation Plan for 2017-2020 was developed for Palestine. The updated MERCATOR Implementation Plan for Palestine includes a road map to deliver on the broader organizational and technical development plans with specific capacities building supports related to the technical provisions of the TFA. These included Risk management (Article 7.4); Authorized Operator (Article 7.7); Post Clearance Audit (Article 7.5); Establishment and Publication of Average Release Times (Article 7.6) and Border Agency Cooperation (Article 8.1, 8.2) and Single Window (Article 10.4).

In line with the MECATOR Implementation Plan for Palestine, the WCO undertook a PCA diagnostic mission in the framework of the HMRC-WCO-UNCTAD TFA Capacity Building Programme with the financial support of the United Kingdom through Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This PCA diagnostic mission for Palestine was conducted from 26 -30 November 2017 in Ramallah, Palestine. The objective of the mission was to identify specific capacity support requirements for implementing effective PCA function that is conducive to the unique Customs operational environment of Palestine.

The mission started with presentations from the WCO experts on the WCO Concept of PCA, PCA Policy Development, PCA Audit Phases and Human Resource Management for PCA. The Director for PCA in Palestine presented on the processes followed by PCA in Palestine, including organizational/divisional processes, audit plan and its performances, IT support, links to Risk Management and other key divisions within the Palestinian Customs. The diagnostics included discussions with Directors from other divisions within Palestinian Customs, including IT, legal, Risk Management, Customs Police, Valuations, Classification and Origin. During the mission, a visit was made to Ramallah Regional Office to observe and understand the clearance processes and links to the PCA activities, risk management and other enforcement and compliance activities.

In concluding the mission, discussions were held with external stakeholders at Customs Headquarters in Ramallah. Attendance included representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Customs broker and big importers in Palestine. The discussions surrounded the role of PCA regarding trade facilitation and compliance improvement, trader’s understanding, expectations and frustrations in the Palestinian Customs clearance processes. Considering the lack of border facilities in Palestine, PCA work takes place largely on traders’ premises and this mission is considered as a critical milestone in building and developing results oriented support for effective Post Clearance Audit in Palestine. The Administration was very pleased to receive WCO expertise in the area of PCA and is looking forward to the Diagnostic mission report and appreciates the ongoing support provided by the WCO in other areas identified in the MERCATOR Implementation Plan for Palestine.