Secretary General's visit to Tanzania to support Customs modernization

13 July 2009

Secretary General's visit to Tanzania to support Customs modernization

Tanzania, 9 to 10 July 2009


WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to support its Customs modernization programme. Commissioner General Kitillya welcomed him and explained the TRA’s current efforts to upgrade its information technology system, taking into account the outcome of the WCO IT Conference in Marrakech during April 2009.

While it was vital to strengthen revenue collection under the current economic circumstances, Mr. Kitillya viewed coordinated border management as an important step forward in facilitating trade, including the promotion of the One-Stop Border Post project. From this viewpoint, his administration was currently carrying out a Time Release Study to identify the bottlenecks and improve the efficiency of border clearances, especially at the port of Dar Es Salaam, based on WCO guidelines and its recent workshop. Since this process would imply a range of border agencies at the senior level, Mr. Mikuriya visited the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr. Khijjah, and requestd his support for and follow-up of the outcome of the Time Release Study currently being undertaken at the TRA.

Likewise, Mr. Mikuriya asked Mr. Khijjah to look into the ratification process of the Revised Kyoto Convention by Tanzania, which required high-level coordination with other ministries.

Mr. Mikuriya also took the opportunity to have a discussion session with the Customs management team, led by Commissioner of Customs, Mr. Juma, on the future Customs reform programme in preparation for the termination of the Destination Inspection Contract at the end of next year.He then visited the TRA Institute of Tax Administration and discussed the need to improve basic training needs and research-based capacity building activities with its staff members.

After his visit to the Tanzanian authorities, the Secretary General met recently-appointed Vietnamese Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr. Thien; a familiar face in Asia in his capacity as former Head of the International Cooperation Department in the Vietnam Customs authority. Mr. Thien pledged to assist Customs cooperation in East Africa, his area of responsibility.