Integrity as part of Reform and Modernization in Guyana’s Customs Agenda

10 April 2023

Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is taking significant steps towards modernizing its Customs processes in collaboration with the WCO Anti-Corruption & Integrity Promotion (A-CIP) Programme, supported by funding from the Government of Canada. This move reflects the GRA's commitment to enhancing its Customs activities with by promoting integrity and preventing corruption, in accordance with the WCO Revised Arusha Declaration.

As part of the A-CIP Programme’s activities, WCO experts conducted a diagnostic mission on Customs Valuation. The mission aimed to assess the alignment of valuation practices with the World Trade Organization (WTO) requirements and standards, identify competency gaps, map integrity risks and make recommendations for modernizing valuation practices.  This is in line with the WCO Revised Arusha Declaration’s key factor on Regulatory Framework, which advocates for the adoption of harmonized international standards so that Customs formalities can proceed without undue burden.

Over five days, WCO experts met with key areas of the GRA involved in Customs Valuation, including a site visit to the Georgetown seaport. They also held a meeting with the Customs Brokers Association to identify areas for improvement, noting the private sector’s participation in the Customs Integrity Perception Survey (CIPS) conducted last year under the Programme. GRA's senior officials participated in the meeting and discussed issues from a solution-oriented perspective. During the closing remarks, the Association's President described the meeting as an unprecedented initiative, and the Deputy Commissioner of Customs emphasized the need for more regular meetings.

On the last day of the mission, the WCO experts presented the key findings and recommendations to the Commissioner of Customs and a group of GRA`s senior officials. The Commissioner highlighted the significance of embedding integrity in core Customs processes such as Valuation to ensure that their operations are efficient and effective, while complying with international standards. GRA recognizes that this integrity initiative is crucial to facilitating trade and enhancing economic growth in Guyana.

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