Chad Customs and WCO reinvigorate their collaboration

20 September 2019

From 10 to 13 September, Chadian Customs received a mission from the WCO Secretariat at the Headquarters of the General Directorate of Customs and Indirect Taxes in Ndjamena, the country's capital. The purpose of this mission was to review the status and functioning of this Administration, which now has 1,818 officers and to evaluate options to strengthen collaboration with the WCO and support Customs reform.

 In his opening speech, Mr. Ousman Adam Dicky, Colonel of the Brigades and Director General of this Administration since 18 October 2018, stressed the importance for the Customs to contribute to the national budget through the collection of duties and taxes. However, he also stressed the need for Customs to contribute, together with the Police and the other armed forces, to the security of the borders of this country still threatened by the action of certain terrorist groups. Finally, he expressed his will to reorient the action of the Customs to also better protect the citizens, in particular against the illicit flows of the drugs, fake medicines and other counterfeit or prohibited products.

The mission facilitated by the WCO Secretariat then visited the Ngueli customs office, the most important crossing point of the country located at the land border of Cameroon, and the customs office of Ndjamena airport. The experts noted the lack of progress since the diagnostic mission carried out in 2011 under the Columbus Program and the poor state of the infrastructure, making the work of Customs particularly difficult. They also observed the low level of dematerialization and automation of this Administration, marked by a very frequent rotation of managers and staff.

Based on these findings, Customs managers and WCO experts then met for 3 days of analysis and reflection and agreed on a series of recommendations to support customs reform and more sustainable collaboration with the WCO.  More specifically, this work covered the following topics: strategic management, human resources management, legislation and procedures, information and communication technologies, the fight against fraud, communication and integrity.  The discussions also led to the observation that Customs should work, in particular with the Ministry of Finance, but also with the Ministry of Commerce, to implement the commitments of the Government of Chad taken at regional level (application of the Community Customs Code and Common External Tariff of the CEMAC), continental (implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area of Africa - CFTA) and global (application of the measures of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation of the World Trade Organization).