The WCO COVID-19 Project supports Angola’s Revenue Administration in tackling COVID-19 and strengthening its emergency-response procedures

22 February 2022

From 14 to 16 February 2022 the WCO COVID-19 Project, funded by the Government of Japan, successfully conducted its 12th capacity-building activity aimed at strengthening the resilience of WCO Members in effectively responding to COVID-19 and other disruptive events. The workshop, organized for Angola Customs, with interpretation supported by the CCF Finland-ESA, resulted in the development of a draft Guide collecting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the priority release of critical goods and equipment.

Angola is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and, in addition to the current COVID-19 pandemic, experiences epidemics of other diseases, such as HIV, malaria and cholera, which have a major impact on socio-economic activities and on the livelihoods of citizens. Angola therefore requested the support of the WCO COVID-19 Project to reinforce its disaster preparedness and review its emergency procedures according to the latest applicable international instruments and tools.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Nerethz Faria Coelho da Cruz Tati, Member of the Board of Directors of Angola’s Revenue Administration, warmly thanked the WCO for its useful support and underlined the timeliness of the activity to improve Customs clearance and better tackle the global health crisis. Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, Director of the WCO Compliance and Facilitation Directorate, commended the commitment of Angola’s Revenue Administration and encouraged participants to actively contribute to the discussions and make the most of the assistance provided by WCO and humanitarian organizations’ experts throughout the workshop.

Participants highlighted the challenges encountered for the clearance and regularization of different categories of goods at ports, airports and land points of entry, and formulated recommendations to improve applicable Customs procedures, including those concerning the status of importers and related exemptions.

On the last day of the workshop, participants agreed upon the next steps for the finalization of the Guide given that, during upcoming weeks, a number of meetings will be held with stakeholders to complete the document.  Angola’s Revenue Administration also expressed its interest to receive additional support by the WCO for the organization of a simulation exercise on the ground, to be carried out with the assistance of the COVID-19 Project, to test and fine-tune the newly drafted Guide and overcome potential remaining bottlenecks that could negatively affect the humanitarian supply chain.  

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