WCO and SADC Secretariat deepen cooperation in the area of Trade Facilitation

31 May 2018

At the invitation of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Secretariat, the WCO attended the joint meeting of the SADC Sub-Committees on Customs and Trade Facilitation from 21 to 23 May 2018 in Gaborone, Botswana.

At this occasion, the WCO made a presentation on the Mercator Programme as well as its support to WCO Members in Africa and in particular the SADC region.  The WCO took this opportunity to also highlight its support to Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the WCO tools that have been developed to support both RECs and their members in their regional integration agendas particularly in areas of Customs and border procedures.  The WCO also informed of the initiative to enhance cooperation with SADC in the context of the WCO-SADC MoU that was signed in July 2004.

The Sub-Committees noted with satisfaction that the WCO and the SADC Secretariats are exploring the possibility to launch a joint donor-funded regional programme in 2019 to support the SADC Membership with implementation of the SADC Regional Trade Facilitation Programme. The Sub-Committees acknowledged that the WCO expertise in Customs matters and other areas focussed in effective border management will be particularly beneficial to the SADC Members in their regional trade facilitation efforts.

The WCO also held bilateral meetings with institutional and development partners such as the EU, GiZ, USAID Trade and Investment Hub to discuss the SADC Trade Facilitation Programme in order to explore synergies and avoid potential duplication of activities.

While in Botswana, the WCO also took the opportunity to meet with the Commissioner General of the Botswana Unified Revenue Services to discuss further cooperation between the WCO and that country on capacity-building matters in the framework of the WCO-SACU Connect project.

For more information about this activity, please contact capacity.building@Wcoomd.org.