Gambia Revenue Authority on track to build sustainable competences on tariff classification

20 September 2023

The World Customs Organization (WCO) within the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for the Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme), funded by the European Union, conducted an intermediate training on the Harmonized System for the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA). The workshop took place from 4 to 8 September 2023 in Senegambia, Gambia, and intervenes after a basic training that was organized in Banjul on March 2023.

The series of workshops are part of the work-plan established with GRA towards developing sustainable competency of its officials in the Harmonized System and tariff classification work, and shall be further sustained by an advanced training and a train of trainers in line with the strategic guidance for competency development.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Yankuba Darbo, GRA Commissioner General, underlined the critical significance of a well-trained workforce to optimize GRA’s operations in trade facilitation and accurate tariff classification of commodities for collection of correct revenue. He highlighted the importance and effectiveness of the competency approach and stressed the commitment of GRA management and officials in undertaking the full cycle which shall ultimately support in creating a pool of experts in the Harmonized System and benefit all stakeholders. Mr. Yankuba thanked the WCO and the European Union for the continued support in Capacity Building and modernization of tariff classification infrastructure.

The Gambia EU delegation Representative, Ms. Lumana Kamashi acknowledged and recognized the Gambia’s active involvement in trade related issues at both regional and continental level. She applauded the remarkable efforts made by the GRA in ensuring a sustainable workforce on a fundamental area of trade, the Harmonized System. Ms. Kamashi reiterated the support of the EU within the context of the HS Africa Programme, and highlighted other areas in which the EU works closely with the Gambia and had a strong standing partnership for enhanced trade facilitation.
The workshop was attended by 15 participants from across different stations of the GRA and three clearing agents, all carefully selected from the first basic training. The intermediate training allowed the participants to critically examine in detail the structure of the HS Nomenclature and undertake practical examples on the use of General Rules for the Interpretation of the HS as well its Legal Notes. To offer comprehensive understanding, the workshop focused on crucial areas identified by the Gambia Revenue Authority which presented complexities in classification. Participants actively worked on a number of case studies in these areas ranging from food and agricultural products, food supplements and medicaments, dairy products textile and textile articles, base metals and their articles, machinery and appliances as well as optical, laboratory and medical instruments.

At the end of the workshop, Mr. Kemo Sonko, Deputy Commissioner, Technical Support & Monitoring thanked the WCO and the European Union for the continued support to the GRA on building capacity on Harmonized System classification. He also commended the participants for their remarkable commitment during the workshop adding that the results of the workshop would have a great impact on the GRA’s classification work. Mr Kemo urged the participants to share the acquired knowledge with the rest of the colleagues in their respective stations.
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