The WCO offers its support to the Republic of Burundi in its initiative to accede to the Revised Kyoto Convention

01 June 2018

In response to a request from the Burundi Revenue Office (BRO) and with the financial support of the Finnish Government through the WCO-FINLAND-ESA Project (Phase 2), the WCO organized a national workshop on the amended International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures, known as the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), to support Burundi in its procedure for accession to this major instrument.

The RKC is a WCO legal instrument regarded by the entire international Customs community as a blueprint for effective and modern Customs in the 21st Century.  When implemented on a large scale, it gives international trade the predictability and efficiency that modern business requires.  Accession to the RKC is perceived as an important milestone in any country’s endeavours to further promote legitimate trade and effective Customs controls.  The number of Contracting Parties to the RKC currently stands at 113.

The workshop took place from 21 to 25 May 2018 in Bujumbura (Burundi).  Its objective was to finalize the work on comparative analysis of the RKC provisions and the national and regional Customs legislation applying to Burundi.  Around 15 participants (members of the Working Group and representatives of the BRO, the Ministry of Trade and Customs partners) made an active contribution to the workshop.  The BRO had already benefited from an awareness-raising and training seminar in July 2017 and had held internal sessions during which the Working Group undertook the preliminary gap analysis.

In his opening address to the workshop, the representative of the Commissioner General of the BRO, in his capacity as Director of Customs Services and e-Business, presented the Burundi Government’s vision for the facilitation of trade and stressed the importance and the advantages of RKC accession.  He also reaffirmed the hopes that his country was placing on the RKC accession and implementation.

The WCO mission team, consisting of two experts from the Secretariat and from the Gabonese Customs Administration, provided detailed advice on the principles of the RKC, the rights and obligations of the Contracting Parties to the Convention and the provisions contained in the body of the Convention, in its General Annex and in its Specific Annexes.  With the help of the WCO experts, the workshop participants assessed whether the provisions of the RKC were consistent with the regional and national legislation applying to Burundi.  As part of this exercise, follow-up measures were sketched out for the areas where regional or national legislation was not fully aligned with the provisions of the RKC.  This work will be completed by the group set up for the purpose, and a draft detailed action plan for Burundi’s RKC accession and implementation will be submitted to the Commissioner General as soon as possible.

At the workshop’s closing session, the WCO experts said that they were very satisfied with the excellent local organization of the workshop, and they appreciated the WCO’s willingness to provide its support to the BRO in its initiative for Burundi to accede to the RKC.