Steps towards RKC implementation as part of the modernization programme of Samoa Customs

16 December 2015

Following a request by the Samoa Customs Service, Ministry for Revenue (MfR), the World Customs Organization (WCO) organized a four-day national support mission on the implementation of the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Revised Kyoto Convention - RKC). The implementation of the RKC forms an essential part of the Samoa Customs modernization program.

Facilitated by two experts from Japan Customs and the WCO Secretariat, the support concentrated on a national workshop held at the Ministry for Revenue from 7 to 10 December 2015. It took into account the specific situation in Samoa – the already existing outline of their Customs modernization plan (including updates of the national Customs Act and regulations) and interim findings of a preliminary gap analysis between the national legislation and the General Annex of the RKC that had been done prior to the mission, with the technical support of New Zealand Customs.

This workshop benefitted from welcoming remarks by Ms. Lucia Sefo-Leau (CEO-MfR) and brought together nearly twenty managers and executives from the Samoa Customs Service, the Ministry for Revenue and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The main objective of the Workshop was, based on the national situation, to further deepen the awareness of the importance and advantages of the RKC, to pursue and to complement the preliminary gap analysis. It was an opportunity to expedite the country’s accession process, and to effectively prepare and ensure the alignment of the national legislation and the implementation of this Convention as soon as possible. After some introductory presentations by the WCO Secretariat, participants, divided into two sub-groups, immediately moved on to a comparative analysis of the provisions of the RKC and the national legislation.

The Workshop led to a clear and detailed action plan for the amendment of the national legislation bearing in mind that the Ministry for Revenue already has a roadmap towards the accession to the RKC. As demonstrated by the commitment of participants and according also to the CEO’s final remarks during the closing ceremony, it is obvious that Samoa will complete the national process of accession to the RKC in the near future, for the accession instrument to be deposited at the WCO Secretariat soon after.

The Samoa Customs Service very much welcomed this timely collaboration and expressed its sincere gratitude towards the WCO and the ROCB-AP for all its Capacity Building support, and Japan Customs for the financial and expert support. The WCO Secretariat will continue to support the Samoa Customs Service in its modernization efforts, and particularly in the process of accession to and implementation of the RKC.