Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) ready to implement WCO Immediate Release Guidelines and align with TFA Article 7.8

13 April 2021

As part of its ongoing support to Members, the WCO conducted a series of virtual training and capacity building sessions for the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) to implement the WCO Immediate Release Guidelines leading to align with the WTO-TFA Article 7.8 (Expedited Shipments). Commencing in mid, September 2020, virtual sessions continued on a weekly basis every Tuesday for 02 hours for the implementation team. The team was led by a Deputy Commissioner with representatives from the air cargo, IT business process analysis, risk and anti-smuggling units. The support took place under the framework of the United Kingdom supported Trade Facilitation Capacity Building Programme which constitutes a partnership between the WCO, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and UNCTAD to support developing and least developed countries in the implementation of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).  

During the virtual sessions, the current clearance and release process applied at air cargo was reviewed and bottlenecks were identified, the process was re-engineered incorporating recommendations of the WCO Immediate Release Guidelines, risk management principles and principles of coordinated border management. As a result, the air cargo manifest will be submitted electronically direct to the automated system (Asycuda World), and all declarations will be submitted through the automated system and provide LRA with a complete database.

LRA team was highly motivated and participated actively in all the virtual sessions guided by the WCO expert. The LRA team contributed positively and in a timely manner by providing all documents and information needed during sessions. It is expected that the re-engineered clearance process will result in increased efficiency in the clearance and release of air cargo shipments through a coordinated approach with reduced clearance and release time.

The notable point is that LRA is the first Customs administration to benefit from this virtual capacity building activity supporting alignment with TFA 7.8 and the first administration to be ready for implementation.

For more information contact capacitybuilding@wcoomd.org and TFAPartnerships@wcoomd.org