WCO supports Zambia Revenue Authority in strengthening its integrity enhancement

15 December 2022

As part of a multi-year Mercator partnership for effective implementation of the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the WCO has supported the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) on its strategic objective to further enhance integrity and transparency throughout ZRA’s operations and organization. Recognising the vital role that integrity plays as a cross-cutting enabler for effective trade facilitation reforms, the support took place under the auspices of the Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme, as financially supported by the United Kingdom’s HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC),

With at its core the WCO Revised Arusha Declaration on Good Governance and Integrity in Customs, the WCO’s comprehensive support on integrity kicked off in June 2022 with the roll-out of a Customs Integrity Perception Survey. During two weeks, private sector stakeholders and ZRA officers were asked to share their perceptions through an online tool and survey stations at key border posts. The survey results provided a baseline and valuable input into the ZRA leadership’s deliberations on areas for improvement.  

Furthermore, WCO integrity experts provided strategic and technical assistance to the ZRA on promoting integrity within Customs. As part of the blended approach that constituted various remote meetings, including with private sector representatives, and an in-country mission from 10-14 October 2022, the focus was to support ZRA on Customs Integrity Assessment and Anti-Corruption Action Planning endeavour. The exercise was spearheaded by a dedicated ZRA Working Group that drove the process forward, which resulted in ZRA incorporating all of the recommendations into a draft action plan covering 35 actions and 72 sub-actions with concrete outputs and outcomes. The action plan, with concrete timelines, is expected to be endorsed by the ZRA leadership in the near future.

It was appreciated that ZRA already undertook various initiatives in recent years, including the establishment of an internal Integrity Committee and organizing awareness-raising and sensitization events. Further room for improvement was identified in, e.g. the recruitment process and by enhancing automation. Responding to the deliberations, Acting Commissioner General, Mr. Moses Shuko, emphasized that integrity is all-encompassing and requires looking at people, procedures, processes and systems. ZRA underlined its open mind to learn from other countries and inspire others to learn from the Zambia example.

Additional information on the “Accelerate Trade Facilitation” Programme can be found here.

For more information on WCO Capacity Building, please contact capacity.building@wcoomd.org