Progress in Customs reform in Ethiopia

06 January 2012

Progress in Customs reform in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, 30-31 January 2012


At the invitation of Director General Melaku Fenta of the Ethiopia Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA), Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, visited ERCA on 30 and 31 January 2012, following the African Union Summit held in Ethiopia's capital. Besides visiting ERCA headquarters, the Secretary General also visited major Customs offices dealing with land and air cargo in Addis Ababa.

ERCA has made significant progress in the past three years in introducing risk management supported by better use of information technology and modern Customs techniques such as post clearance audit. They have also upgraded their human resource management with new organizational arrangements and training.

In this connection, the WCO e-learning programme is extensively employed as the major tool for training new recruits and middle managers. After an induction course at ERCA headquarters, new recruits are assigned to field offices where they follow the e-learning course twice a week. As most cargo comes from Djibouti by truck, ERCA is working on developing a modern transit system that will enable electronic exchange of data with Djibouti Customs.

The Secretary General also met the Minister of Finance, Sufian Ahmed, a former Director General of Customs who used to attend WCO Council Sessions. Minister Ahmed appreciated the assistance given by the WCO at the outset to guide Customs reform in his country. Acknowledging the need to further improve the functionality and performance of Customs, the Minister thanked the Secretary General for continuing to support the reform process with best practice and for assisting Ethiopia in enhancing connectivity with neighbouring countries, especially Djibouti, as this would lead to an efficient trade corridor.