WCO support Burundi to finalize its national TRS project

07 February 2019

Under the auspices of the Finish Government to support Burundi Customs Administration to conduct a Time Release Study (TRS), the WCO participated in TRS Work Session mission which took place in Bujumbura, Burundi, from 28 January to 1 February 2019. The Session aimed at assisting Burundi to finalize the national TRS report.

The WCO designated two experts to support Burundi for the Work Session. During the Session, the experts and officials from Burundi Customs and other national trade stakeholders held fruitful discussions on the structure and content of a preliminary version of the Burundi TRS report which illustrated, inter alia, important work that had been carried out by the national TRS Working Group of Burundi, but still required further analysis and guidance by the experts.  

The report was drafted by a national Working Group that was headed by the Burundi Customs Administration; it included relevant information related to a number of issues, including bottlenecks hampering trade between Burundi and the rest of the world as well as other aspects such as recommendations that needed urgent Customs’ and other trade stakeholders’ intervention in the short, medium and long term.  

The Work Session allowed the participants to discuss the way forward which, amongst others, includes options for external donor financial aid to implement some of recommendations that are listed in the TRS report. After an intensive Work Session the national Customs Administration’s officials and other Members of the TRS Working Group, with much effort and high level of commitment, managed to successfully finalize the TRS report that will be presented to the national trade community as recommended by the TRS Guide – Version 3, recently released by the WCO.

It is worthwhile to highlight that Burundi Customs Administration launched the TRS project in April 2018, with full support of the WCO, at a time where the TRS Guide –Version 3 was still in the process of being updated. Nevertheless, Burundi joined some other WCO Members that fully completed a TRS cycle, with the intention to adopt the TRS as a tool to measure clearance time from the arrival of the cargo in the country until its physical release.