WCO lends assistance to Customs administration of Sao Tomé and Principe

17 mayo 2011
WCO lends assistance to Customs administration of Sao Tomé and Principe
17-20 May 2011

The small archipelago-nation of Sao Tome and Principe (STP) became a member of the World Customs Organization in 2009. Prior to joining the organization, a diagnostic mission of the Customs administration of Sao Tome and Principe was conducted by the WCO, under the auspices of a cooperation of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCC), sponsored by the United States government.

As a result of the diagnostic, and with the valuable support of the MCC and Portuguese Customs, the STP administration launched an important reform and modernization project. The project brought changes in the areas of Customs legislation, automated clearance processing, process reengineering, and training in various technical areas. The project has also allowed for the adaptation and implementation of the UNCTAD ASYCUDA World software to the STP Customs environment.

The modernization efforts are gradually paying off and results can be seen on the ground. At the request of the Director general of Customs, the WCO dispatched a team of experts to assess the progress and identify possible areas of cooperation between the WCO and one of its newest Members. The mission was conducted from 17-20 May 2011 in Sao Tomé with the valuable financial support of the EuroCustoms fund.

Over the course of the mission, experts were able to take note of the various improvements and also made recommendations in a number of operational and strategic areas. In the near future, the WCO is likely to offer supplementary support in the development of a comprehensive and document reform plan. This will serve as a roadmap for the administration to implement further reforms and to open a dialogue with potential donors.

The WCO congratulates the STP Customs administrations on its ongoing efforts to implement the international standards and best practices in the area of Customs, and reaffirms its support to members committed to reform and modernization.