WCO Supports Trade Facilitation in Sudan in partnership with UNCTAD and HMRC

15 December 2015

Following an invitation from the Ministry of Trade and Sudan Customs, a joint mission of the WCO, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) conducted a scoping mission to Khartoum from 1 to 3 December to update the country’s national trade facilitation plan that UNCTAD had completed in 2013 as well as to adopt a comprehensive trade-related technical assistance programme to help Sudan to implement trade facilitation reforms.

The event was funded by the United Kingdom and was jointly facilitated by experts from HMRC, UNCTAD and the WCO, with opening remarks delivered by H. E. Mansour Yousif Al-Ajab, Minister of Trade of the Republic of the Sudan.Close to 100 participants from Sudan Customs and other key public and private sector stakeholders actively participated in one of the first country needs assessment missions under the new HMRC-WCO-UNCTAD TFA Capacity Building Programme. This unique partnership leverages existing WCO instruments and tools under the Mercator Programme to support Customs reform and modernization, while also leveraging UNCTAD’s broader expertise in bringing the full range of trade stakeholders together and building the capacity of National Committees for Trade Facilitation (NCTFs).

The event concluded with a forward plan to support the NCTF and Sudan Customs in the effective and sustainable implementation of trade facilitation measures. The plan builds on extensive support which has already been delivered in risk management, advance rulings and human resources development. In the Customs field, priorities include supporting the implementation of specific risk management pilots, the rationalization of Customs laboratories to support future work on advance rulings, support in the implementation of the Single Window and support in the analysis and publication of the 2015 time-release study. In addition, cross-cutting support to improve Sudan’s Customs training, leadership and management capacities will provide an important foundation in the implementation of an ambitious series of reforms, and which will build on strong foundations within Sudan’s National Academy for Customs Science and Technology.

The WCO looks forward to further cooperation with Sudan, HMRC and UNCTAD in the implementation of this ambitious plan.