WCO and IMF jointly support Honduras Customs to implement WTO TFA

24 November 2017

The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conducted a joint mission in Honduras from 30 October to 10 November 2017.  While the WCO advisors conducted a scoping mission under the Mercator Program aiming at assisting Honduras in the implementation of the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (the WTO TFA), the FAD/IMF consultants conducted a capacity development (CD) mission seeking to modernize Honduras Customs policies and institution.

The WCO and the IMF held simultaneous meetings with authorities such as the Honduras Ministry of Finance (SEFIN), the Presidential Commission for Comprehensive Reform of the Customs System and Trade Operators (COPRISAO), the Deputy Directorate of Customs Revenue (DARA), and the Revenue Administration Service (SAR). Both missions also visited Port Cortes, Toncontín International Airport, and the Corinto land border.

Honduras Customs faces the challenge to strengthen its current performance while carrying out a process of transition towards a new decentralized administration. With this in mind, Honduras authorities made presentations about their strategic plan, leading projects, indicators, organizational structure, HR selection process, budget, infrastructure, IT, special regimes, risk management systems, post-clearance audit, exchange of information, import, export and transit procedures. From an operative perspective, Honduras Customs is aware of the need to balance between facilitation and control to achieve higher institutional efficiency.

On November 9 and 10, the teams discussed their findings with, among others, Mr. Wilfredo Cerrato, Finance Minister, Mr. Jorge Hernández Alcerro, Secretary General Coordinator of Government, Mrs. Eny Bautista, Coordinator of COPRISAO, and Mrs. Wendy Flores, Deputy Director of Customs Revenue.

The mission was a valuable opportunity for a cooperative approach between international organizations to assist Honduras Customs.  Honduras authorities are committed to implementation of the WTO TFA and called for continued support for Customs reforms.