Phase 3 evaluation mission to Qatar

16 June 2015

The General Authority of Customs (GAC) of Qatar hosted the WCO Columbus Programme Phase 3 from 17 to 21 May 2013 in Doha, Qatar. The Phase 3 mission was carried out by two experts from the WCO Secretariat and self-funded by GAC.

During the mission, the WCO team met with senior managers and held meetings with officials at Customs HQ in Doha as well as Doha sea port. The WCO experts also met with representatives from the private sector including Qatar Chamber of Commerce.

The WCO Phase 3 mission looked at holistic organizational issues using as references the WCO Diagnostic Framework and building blocks identified in the "Customs in the 21st Century" strategic document. The WCO experts identified many areas where significant progress has been made since the WCO Phase 1 diagnostic was carried out in 2007.

The main achievements included advanced strategic planning, procedures, upgrade of IT systems with introduction of regular trade information reporting, development of a new Single Window portal, implementation of a successful coordinated Border Management, academic study programs and infrastructure improvements at many Customs facilities.

Notable improvements were observed in the website of GAC and the very efficient use of social media as an effective means of communication. The relationships with external stakeholders, in particular with the business community, have also been enhanced significantly.

The WCO team made a number of recommendations aimed at enhancing the excellent work already achieved by GAC since the WCO Diagnostic mission in 2007. It is hoped that the recommendations will provide a good basis for the administration’s next steps in the area of reform and modernization.