WCO Mercator Programme diagnostic stock-taking assessment conducted for Tonga Customs

22 May 2023

At the request of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Tonga Ministry of Revenue and Customs (MORC), the WCO, with funding support from the Customs Cooperation Fund of Japan (CCF Japan), conducted a diagnostic support stock-taking mission in Nuku’alofa, Tonga, during the period 1 to 10 May 2023.

The mission focused on MORC’s overall reform and modernization agenda, particularly Tonga Customs’ contribution to the implementation of effective trade facilitation measures in line with international standards and best practices, such as the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). 

The activity was conducted under the framework of the WCO Mercator Programme and included discussions with the CEO, the Customs senior management team and relevant Section and Unit Heads, along with relevant representatives from both the public sector and the Tonga business community. 

Through active engagement with all stakeholders, the WCO team was able to make a comprehensive stock-taking assessment of the situation within MORC and the Customs administration with regard to the effective implementation of trade facilitation measures, highlighting areas where good progress had already been achieved and also identifying areas where further capacity building and technical assistance support may be required.

In collaboration, a refreshed multi-year (MY) Mercator Implementation Plan was developed that contains a series of recommendations, activities and key performance indicators that will now form the basis for future actions. The Mercator Implementation Plan will also facilitate enhanced engagement with government partner agencies and private sector stakeholders involved in trade facilitation reforms.

MORC and the WCO team also worked together and conducted a Mercator Maturity Model assessment that provides an important baseline against which future TFA implementation progress or maturity can be effectively measured and reported.

For more information, please, contact capacity.building@wcoomd.org.