The WCO supports the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) in further enhancing its AEO Programme

08 December 2022

The WCO organized a five-day capacity building mission from 14 to 18 November 2022 in Lusaka, Zambia. The purpose was to enhance Zambia’s Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme and develop the necessary skills to conduct AEO security criteria validations in line with the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards and Article 7.7 of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The mission was organized under the framework of the WCO’s Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme, which is financially supported by the United Kingdom’s HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The AEO mission, which was supported by WCO Experts from South Africa and the United States, included conducting two onsite AEO security validations at traders’ premises. The pilot companies validated are current ZRA Customs Accreditation Compliance Programme (CACP) members. Through the hands-on validation process, participants received practical technical training and insight on the application of validation techniques to ensure the WCO AEO security criteria are met, which includes cargo security, premises security, personnel security, and IT security. Five officials from the ZRA CACP team and one official from the Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA) participated and benefited from training and onsite validation processes. The capacity building support rendered was built upon previous remote support and a March 2022 mission that had set the groundwork for the validation process.

After reviewing the current state of play and assessing specific needs through interactive sessions, the WCO-accredited experts provided practical approaches to continue building the AEO programme. These included a recommendation for additional technical assistance in creating the necessary supporting procedures, such as establishing a proper pre-validation process to include set timelines and standard operating procedures. The aim is to launch the AEO Programme at the beginning of 2023.

In closing the mission, the Acting Commissioner General, Mr. Moses Shuko, thanked the WCO and the United Kingdom for its ongoing capacity building support designed to modernise customs procedures and improve trade facilitation endeavours in Zambia. The AEO mission took place in conjunction with a capacity building mission on Air Cargo streamlining, and a mission of the Head of the WCO Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme and HMRC as part of a strategic and donor monitoring mission.

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