Esta página no está disponible en el idioma seleccionado Spanish : Español y la proponemos por consiguiente en English : English.

An important meeting of the WCO-EAC Project Steering Committee

27 mayo 2009
An important meeting of the WCO-EAC Project Steering Committee
May 2009

The WCO-EAC Project Steering Committee (SC) which is comprised of the heads of Customs of the five East African Community (EAC) countries (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda), the EAC Secretariat, the Regional Programme Manager (RPM), ESA-ROCB, WCO and SITPRO representing the business community, met for the third time on 11 May 2009 in Kampala (Uganda). The main purpose of the SC meetings is to provide guidance and direction to the project ensuring that the project continues to be viable.

The Third SC meeting was chaired by Mrs. Allen Kagina, Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority. All the permanent members of the Steering Committee attended, and as agreed during the previous SC meeting, all the National Project Managers (NPMs) also were in Kampala. SITPRO attended by means of a teleconference, and at their invitation, a representative of the East Africa Business Council, was present at the meeting. Representatives of the Investment Climate for Africa (ICF) also provided valuable comments as observers.

The meeting was a very important one and had to approve the outcomes of the extensive project scoping work carried out earlier by the NPMs and national team experts during a dedicated workshop held in the WCO Regional Training Centre in Mombasa, Kenya on 23 March - 2 April 2009.

As recommended by the experts of the Mombasa workshop, and with a view to having a realistic and pragmatic approach to the programme complementing the actions of the EAC Secretariat and other development activities within the region, the 3rd Steering Committee approved that the overall WCO-EAC programme for the next 12 -15 months should focus on Trade Facilitation and the implementation of the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards. The Steering Committee approved that the trade facilitation project consist of the three suggested core components:

- Intelligence and Risk Management– adoption of a common intelligence and risk management approach within the region;

- Post Clearance Audit – introduction in the EAC Partner States of a post clearance audit process that will support the facilitation of legitimate trade at the points of entry;

- Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) - introduction of a regional Authorized Economic Operator Programme which meets the global standards and a regional model for mutual recognition of AEO status in line with the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards.

The SC further approved that support was provided to the technical projects through the adoption of two support strategies on Communications and Human Resource Management.

With the SC endorsement, the project has now officially moved into its first operational implementation phase. Furthermore, the action plan was endorsed and supported by the Trade representatives who welcomed the strong practical business involvement and undertook to provide more details of suggestions for practical regional business activities to support the project plan. The project will also in the following steps be very focused on private sector involvement and interaction.

In a comment about the event, Mr. Lars Karlsson, WCO Director of Capacity Building said, “The EAC WCO SIDA project is making tremendous progress and I am delighted about the hard work done by the project team, the Commissioners of Customs, the EAC Secretariat, the ESA ROCB, the private sector partners as well as my colleagues within the WCO Secretariat, to get this project operational with clear target goals. The next phase of the project will give tangible benefits to both business and the involved Governments, which is extremely important especially under the current financial crises in the world. The third SG meeting in Kampala demonstrated the will of the EAC members and Secretariat to become a leading region in trade facilitation and modern Customs application”.