WCO supports Bahrain in enhancing its Post-Clearance Audit function and developing a Pre-arrival Processing System

26 September 2017

With a view to meeting in full the requirements of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the Bahrain Customs Administration sought the WCO’s support in implementing an effective Post-Clearance Audit (PCA) function and establishing a Pre-arrival Processing System, thus ensuring that it has a deep understanding of the policies and operational processes underpinning these concepts.

Accordingly, WCO experts conducted a national workshop in Manana from 18 to 21 September 2017.  The event was attended by 30 Customs officers from various departments within the Bahrain Customs Administration, including those with responsibility for PCA, Customs Processing, Risk Management, Internal Audit, Tariff and Origin.

During his speech to open the workshop, the Director General for Planning and Administrative Affairs stressed the importance of shifting Customs controls from physical examinations at borders to pre-arrival processing and PCA controls, so as to effectively reduce cargo congestion at borders and enhance trade facilitation.

The workshop enabled participants to improve their understanding of the PCA concept as explained in the WCO Guidelines, as well as the benefits that PCA brings to Customs and traders, and the relationship between PCA, trade facilitation and risk management.

The event also helped boost participants’ knowledge of the Pre-arrival Processing System and its value when it comes to meeting the challenges created by international supply chains. More specifically, participants developed a thorough understanding of the International Standards for Pre-arrival Processing, the SAFE Framework of Standards and the WCO Immediate Release Guidelines, and learned how the concepts of risk management, Coordinated Border Management and a Single Window environment apply  in the context of Pre-arrival Processing.

The Director of Customs also visited the workshop venue and thanked the WCO for its continued efforts to support Bahrain in implementing its TFA requirements and with other endeavours to modernize the Administration. He also thanked the participants for their willingness to increase their knowledge and skills in these critical areas of Customs work and concepts.

For their part, the participants expressed their commitment to use the knowledge gained at the workshop to improve the current PCA system and implement the concept of pre-arrival processing.  Following the workshop, they now possess all the necessary information to develop a national action plan and explore possible ways forward in these areas. The WCO is also committed to provide any further support the participants may require in the future.