The WCO supports the Bahamas Customs Administration in the preparation of its first Time Release Study (TRS)

24 April 2018

In the framework of the newly signed agreement between the WCO and Bahamas Customs and Excise Department (BCED) and following the successful WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) gap analysis conducted by the WCO from 19 to 23 March 2018, two experts from the WCO facilitated a national Workshop in the area of Time Release Study (TRS) in Nassau (Bahamas) from 9 to 13 April. 

Among other recommendations included in the report of the WTO TFA gap analysis mission, conducting a TRS is indicated as one of the crucial actions to support the implementation of the 3rd objective of the Bahamas’ Trade Sector Support Program financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), focusing on strengthening Customs management, modernizing Customs operations, and enhancing the institutional trade platform.

The Workshop, conducted in English, provided TRS training to 25 Customs officials and representatives of the stakeholders involved in the goods clearance process and enabled them to discuss an initial draft of the procedures for releasing, mapped out for the upcoming implementation of an Electronic Single Window. This major Workshop included, among others, a presentation of the TRS methodology, following the WCO’s Guide, and also gave participants the opportunity to work with the WCO’s TRS software and draft an action plan. According to the draft action plan, it is expected that BCED and the stakeholders will conduct the first TRS by the end of year 2018 so as to establish a baseline for further appreciation of progress.

In her closing speech to the Workshop, the BCED Comptroller Ms. Geannine Moss stressed the importance of this activity, which will enable her Administration and the stakeholders to identify procedural bottlenecks affecting the release and clearance of goods and, above all, to work together on solutions to facilitate trade and improve the business climate.

The Bahamas is working hard for their accession to the World Trade Organization and carrying out its very first TRS will enable this Country to comply with the requirements of Article 7.6 of the WTO TFA for which WTO Members are encouraged to measure and publish their average release time of goods periodically and in a consistent manner, using tools such as, inter alia, the Time Release Study of the World Customs Organization (WCO).

The WCO looks forward to continuing to provide his support to the Bahamas Customs and excise Department.