Building a Regional Framework for Customs Integrity in East Africa

08 August 2019

Between 15 and 18 July in Arusha, Tanzania, experts of 5 WCO Members of the East African Community (EAC), and South Sudan met to discuss the region’s response to corruption in customs.  The workshop was jointly organised by the WCO’s Anti-Corruption and Integrity Promotion (A-CIP) Programme for Customs and the EAC Secretariat.  The workshop was also attended by observers from the WCO Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) for East and Southern Africa and the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC). 

Each country fielded experts from their Customs administrations, as well as officers from national integrity and anti-corruption bodies and integrity programmes at the revenue authority level.  The workshop focused on the EAC Customs and Tax Code of Ethics and Conduct, and the EAC Integrity Action Plan: regional instruments that were adopted in 2014, and applied by Customs administrations in all Partner States. These instruments are premised on international standards, particularly on the WCO Model Code of Ethics and Conduct and the Revised Arusha Declaration. Participants assessed the level of implementation of the adopted action plan in each member state, identified challenges and opportunities, and explored and agreed on modalities to ensure implementation remains on track.

This initiative acknowledges the dangers of corruption within customs and society and the need to strengthen the regional context to support delivery of national anti-corruption initiatives in East Africa, including those in WCO A-CIP Partner Administrations. Launched in January 2019, the WCO A-CIP Programme aims to help Partner Administrations implement new measures to fight corruption and promote integrity in accordance with the Revised Arusha Declaration, improving the business environment for cross-border trade.

For more details, please contact or visit the WCO A-CIP Programme Page.