With WCO support, the Central African Republic Customs Administration launches a new post-crisis reform and modernization strategy

17 February 2017

At the request of the Central African Republic Customs Administration, the World Customs Organization (WCO) conducted a mission from 16 to 26 January 2017 in Bangui, Central African Republic.

The mission was led by an Ivorian Customs expert accredited in Customs modernization, a Malian Customs expert pre-accredited as a Mercator Programme Advisor at a 2016 workshop funded by the African Union, and an expert from the WCO Secretariat in the field of security research.

Its main objective was to carry out a brief diagnostic of the current state of affairs within Central African Republic Customs and, based on the findings, to draw up a 2017-2019 Strategic Plan for the Administration.

The conclusions drawn from the mission show that Central African Customs, largely due to various socio-political crises suffered by the country over the past few years, has not made significant progress since the 2008 needs assessment phase.  Despite some headway noted, the previous recommendations made by the WCO and different partners remain valid.

In tandem with the reform team, the mission consequently worked on identifying priority areas for strategic planning and on drawing up a draft three-year Strategic Plan (2017-2019).  It also helped devise a recovery plan with specific projects to be implemented in the short and medium term.

The WCO welcomes the projected progress and restates its readiness to support the Central African Republic with its Customs modernization process.

In parallel, the mission of the WCO Research Unit in the Central African Republic focused on two main aspects :

  • supporting the WCO capacity building mission present in Bangui on the same dates, given the WCO’s experience in conflict and post-conflict situations, and
  • conducting a field analysis in the border areas in the north-west of the Central African Republic, in line with decisions taken in December 2016 by the Technical Committee for the security project Sécurité Par Collaboration ++ bringing together Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and the Central African Republic.