WCO supports Pakistan in implementing Post Clearance Audit

04 September 2017

Under the auspices of the WCO-HRMC-UNCTAD TFA Implementation Programme, the WCO conducted a PCA diagnostic in Pakistan from 21 to 25 August 2017. The overarching objective of this mission was to conduct a comprehensive review of the current PCA policies, strategy and infrastructure, including implementation processes. In addition, the review incorporated a gap analysis against international best practices and the WCO PCA Guidelines, identifying some recommendations for PCA reform and the development of a Pakistani-led action plan towards establishing an effective and efficient PCA function. The mission originated from bilateral discussions between the WCO and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in the margins of the USAID-supported Training for Pakistan Project’s TFA workshop in January 2017.

The mission started with a plenary session with Customs senior management on the WCO concept of PCA and the relevant TFA Articles on risk management and PCA. Bilateral engagements with management representatives from various sections within the FBR’s Customs Division were conducted, including a process walkthrough at the Islamabad Dry Port. Senior management engaged included the Director General - PCA, the Director General - Reforms and Automation, the Director General - Legal and Directors from Customs Clearance, Risk Management, IT, ASYCUDA, Human Resources and Training, among others.

The WCO Experts had an opportunity to meet and update the FBR Customs Board Member on the status of the mission. The Board Member gave his full commitment to supporting initiatives that seek to build the required PCA capacity. He indicated that the Administration acknowledges the critical importance of an effective PCA function in enhancing trade facilitation whilst ensuring effective Customs control and increased compliance; hence, the recommendations will receive the necessary consideration and priority. The mission concluded with a stakeholders’ engagement session with six of the largest importers and exporters in Pakistan. The stakeholders’ session involved WCO experts’ presentations on the WCO PCA concept for enhanced trade facilitation and compliance through improved Customs-to-business relations and the development of mutual trust.

As a result of the mission, several recommendations on how to assist the FBR in enhancing its PCA function were identified and discussed with senior PCA managers at the close of the mission. The FBR is now better equipped to seek further support from domestic and international stakeholders in implementing effective PCA. The Administration thanked the WCO for its proactive approach in assisting its Members and is looking forward to continuous support and collaboration in enhancing its trade facilitation and modernization endeavours.