Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme capacity building partnership with Zambia Revenue Authority reconfirmed up to 2025

13 January 2023

As part of the new funding cycle of the United Kingdom’s HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) sponsored Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme, the WCO conducted a mission in Zambia in November 2022 to further strengthen its partnership with the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). The objective of the mission was to take stock of the progress made while also looking ahead at areas for further enhancement and WCO collaboration in the coming years. Two representatives of HMRC accompanied the mission. It took place in parallel with a capacity building mission to support ZRA with the validation of the two pilot Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programmes and a mission to further enhance Air Cargo streamlining through the implementation of the WCO Immediate Release Guidelines – leading to the digitalization of clearance for air cargo consignments.

Within the framework of the WCO Mercator Programme for effective implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the ZRA has been receiving technical assistance since 2018 in selected TFA measures as well as on cross-cutting TFA enablers in the organizational development domain under the auspices of the HMRC Programme – a partnership with UNCTAD.

Orlando Cantell, Head of WTO, Trade Facilitation, and Capacity Building at HMRC, said, “It was fantastic to see a great example of the Accelerate Trade Facilitation partnership in action, with the Zambian Government, the WCO and UNCTAD all working together. I was delighted to see first-hand the impacts of the Time Release Study and subsequent recommendations in making the vital Chirundu One-Stop Border Post a more efficient crossing, reducing waiting times for traders. The ongoing work between the Zambian Revenue Authority and the WCO to set up the AEO scheme and support electronic air cargo manifests will also offer further benefits for Zambian businesses.” Referring to the synergy between the WCO and UNCTAD support, Mr. Cantell added, “We also heard from the Zambia National Trade Facilitation Committee, and how they’ve successfully embedded UNCTAD’s Reform Tracker to drive forward and coordinate sustainable reforms. We’re looking forward to seeing what this partnership can continue to deliver over the coming years.”

Acting ZRA Commissioner General, Moses Shuko, expressed ZRA’s gratitude to the WCO and HMRC for the multi-year strategic partnership, most notably the ongoing support on Integrity, Gender Equality and Diversity (GED), AEO and Air Cargo streamlining. Looking ahead towards the new Mercator Implementation Plan, ZRA reconfirmed its commitment to driving activities forward towards effective and sustainable results. In addition to the aforementioned areas and as part of the Mercator Implementation Plan, the WCO will, among others, render capacity building on Coordinated Border Management, leveraging the NTFC and working in close cooperation with the World Bank Group.

The WCO is looking forward to its continued partnership with ZRA and development partners for sustainable trade facilitation reforms and inclusive economic prosperity.

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