Swaziland Revenue Authority joins the Mercator Programme

13 September 2018

Following a successful scoping mission aiming at identifying forward capacity building needs to support the implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA), the WCO is pleased to welcome the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA) as the 50th country to join the tailor-made track of the Mercator Programme.  The Mercator Programme is designed to support WCO members to successfully implement the provisions of the TFA through the effective application of WCO instruments and tools and by using WCOs extensive network of international customs experts. The scoping mission which took place from 27 – 31 August 2018 in Mbabane, Swaziland, was funded by the Government of the United Kingdom through Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs under the framework of the extended HMRC-WCO-UNCTAD Programme.

Taking into consideration the complexity of implementing the provisions of the TFA and the unequalled WCO Customs to Customs capacity building model, this scoping mission included discussions with different units of the SRA as well as other key stakeholders including the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade of Swaziland, the Federation of Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce, Swaziland Investment Promotion Agency and members from the Freight Forwarding Association in Mbabane. Through the exchange with different stakeholders, the mission team was able to identify areas where the WCO best could provide forward support and complement national and international supported TFA initiatives. The discussions covered a wide range of technical issues including Advance Rulings, Penalty Disciplines, Risk Management, Post Clearance Audits, Measurement of Release Times and Border Cooperation as well as areas where the SRA could benchmark against other customs administrations best practices. .

As a result of the mission, a comprehensive assessment was made of the current needs in Swaziland with regards to implementing the TFA. Moreover, forward capacity building and technical assistance support was identified, which will be provided through a multi-year implementation plan in line with the tailor made track approach of the Mercator Programme. To ensure efficient TFA support delivery, this support will be aligned and delivered in collaboration with other development partners, leveraging the respective strengths of all partners. The WCO looks forward to a fruitful collaboration with the SRA in implementing this multi-year Mercator plan in keeping with the unique customs to custom partnership.

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