The SECO-WCO GTFP officially closes its full-fledged intervention in Bolivia

18 December 2023

On 30 November 2023, the SECO-WCO Global Trade Facilitation Programme (GTFP) officially concluded its comprehensive intervention in Bolivia, which commenced in September 2019. For four years, the World Customs Organization (WCO) provided tailored technical assistance to strengthen the organizational and technical capacities of the Bolivian Customs Administration (AN), empowering them to lead, plan, and successfully implement sustainable and transparent customs reforms.

The event embraced the National Programme Steering Committee (NPSC) and the Closing Ceremony of the intervention, gathering approximately 200 attendees. Among them were representatives from the Customs Administration, the Swiss Cooperation Office in Bolivia, the Ministry of Tax Policy, the Ministry of Trade and Internal Logistics, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Chamber of Industry, the National Chamber of Commerce, the National Chamber of Customs Brokers, the GTFP Team, and other stakeholders from the public and private sectors.

During the occasion, the Director General of the Customs Administration emphasized the outstanding results achieved by the AN throughout the GTFP intervention, significantly impacting the AN's performance in trade facilitation. This impact was evidenced by a 7.7% improvement in Trade Facilitation Indicators (TFI) published by the OECD and enhancement in compliance with the provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), particularly concerning articles 3, 7.4, and 7.6.

Furthermore, the AN's engagement with the private sector emerged as a flagship initiative to simplify and harmonize trade procedures. The number of Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) tripled over the past four years. Through its first Time Release Study (TRS), launched last August with support from the SECO-WCO GTFP, bottlenecks were identified to address challenges in facilitating trade operations in cooperation with other governmental agencies. Additionally, with technical guidance from the WCO, the AN has played a significant role as the permanent secretariat of the Bolivian National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF).

The ceremony successfully ended with a meaningful round table where Customs officials shared their experiences throughout the SECO-WCO GTFP support, covering topics such as Risk Management, Authorized Economic Operator Programme, Customs Laboratory, Human Resources, and Facilitation Procedures. Participants pointed out the positive impact and lessons learnt from the assistance.

The WCO and the Swiss Cooperation Office in Bolivia commended the Programme's impact on the country and acknowledged the hard work, dedication, unwavering efforts, commitment, and hospitality of the Bolivian Customs Administration.

For more information on the GTFP, please contact