Reform of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority under the WCO Mercator Programme

01 December 2016

On the occasion of the First Africa Trade Facilitation Forum held at African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa from 1 to 2 December 2016, the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) invited the WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, to a meeting with the newly appointed ERCA Director General, Mr. Kebede Chane, who is Ethiopia's former Trade Minister.

Together with the Director General and his senior management team, Dr. Mikuriya reviewed the progress made in modernizing Ethiopian Customs over the past few years with IT developments such as the introduction of a Single Window and a Cargo Tracking System, as well as advances in human resource management, with the implementation of gender balance policy (women currently make up 40% of the ERCA workforce).

ERCA was one of the first WCO Members to implement the Mercator Programme following a scoping mission in May this year and subsequent agreement on the Mercator Implementation Plan in October. Mr. Chane reaffirmed his commitment to provide the necessary support for the Mercator Programme on behalf of his government.

Dr. Mikuriya welcomed the strong political support for Customs reform in Ethiopia, including early ratification of the Revised Kyoto Convention, and the fact that the management and reform team together with the necessary resources have already been secured. He also described the available guidance and best practices aimed at addressing identified areas for improvement, while emphasising the importance of human resource development. In this connection, the translation of the WCO e-learning and training material into Amharic has already begun under the Mercator Programme.

Both Mr. Chane and Dr. Mikuriya agreed on the need to enhance communication to combat illicit trade, protect citizens and increase border security as well as to ensure efficient and fair revenue collection, which will also contribute to improving the business environment.