Namibian and Kenyan delegations pay working visit to Finland on Co-ordinated Border Management

16 July 2013

27 – 29May 2013

- Article provided by Ms Riitta Passi, Project Manager, Nairobi -

The first site visit on Co-ordinated Border Management (CBM) within the WCO ESA Project ‘Building Trade Capacity through Customs Modernization in the East and Southern Africa Region’ which is funded by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, was held between27thand 29th May 2013 in Finland. Participants from Namibia and Kenya had the opportunity to see and better understand how agencies can coordinate their operations efficiently and effectively through joint allocation of tasks and duties.

Participants from the two countries in the ESA regions were warmly received by Mr. Jarkko Saksa, Acting Director General and Mr. Hannu Lappi, Director, Administration Department, Finnish Customs and welcomed to Finland. The 2 delegations included senior officials from both Government (and not only from Customs) and the private sector. The Kenyan participants came from the Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Customs Services Department, KENTRADE, Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (KIFWA), and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers. The Namibian delegation comprised officials from Customs and Excise of Namibia, Namibia Immigration and Ministry of Home Affairs, Namibia Police, Namibia Animal Health, Namibia Roads Authority and Namibia Road Fund Administration.

The visit thus also provided for an opportunity for the representatives from the private sector and from other government agencies to understand Customs functions and procedures and vice versa gave an insight to the officers from Customs administrations on the necessary service levels required to meet trade facilitation objectives. 2 site visits to Vuosaari Port and Nuijamaa (land)border provided excellent case studies of successful co-operation between Government Agencies at border entry points.

The visit was organized by the WCO and Finnish Customs while the Customs Administrations of Namibia and Kenya coordinated the successful selection of participants on their national level. The three day site visit challenged participants to (re)consider and at the same time enlightened them on what is possible when agencies work together towards common objectives. Although Finland has adopted a coordinated approach towards border management for more than 80 years with only Border Guards and Customs at the borders, participants hoped that the site visit will contribute to some action towards reducing the number of Government agencies at the borders of the two visiting countries, one day. All participants expressed their intention to spread the information of what they have learnt on CBM in their respective organizations.

The WCO wishes to thank Finnish Customs for their strong support for the site visits and Namibia and Kenya for successfully chosen their respective participants from all relevant stakeholders.