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WCO supports Sierra Leone to strengthen its capacities in post-clearance audit

20 septiembre 2017

Following the National Mercator Plan for Sierra Leone, designed to provide multi-year, interactive and results-oriented capacity building support to enable effective implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the WCO facilitated a workshop to strengthen the National Revenue Authority’s (NRA) capacities on post-clearance audit (PCA). The workshop was held in Sierra Leone from 5 to 8 September 2017, and was delivered in the framework of the HMRC-WCO-UNCTAD Programme, financially supported by the Government of the United Kingdom through Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

In total, 14 NRA officials from PCA and other Customs units, including Valuation and Warehouse, Anti-Smuggling, Internal Control and Audit benefited from participating in the workshop. The participants were introduced to the WCO PCA concept of measuring and improving compliance, and gained an increased understanding of the importance of PCA as an integrated part of the Customs risk management strategy and processes, in order to increase the efficiency of controls and promote trade facilitation.

The workshop also provided an opportunity for participants to practically implement PCA using a systems based audit approach focusing on targeting methodologies, sampling selection, and data and information gathering methods. Through role-play and case study examples, participants were able to practice interview techniques to better understand auditable business processes and systems used by large multinationals.

In addition, the workshop included a fruitful discussion with the NRA Commissioner General on key issues that were raised during the PCA diagnostic mission for developing an action plan to assist the administration in enhancing its PCA function. Moreover, participants showed a willingness to continue improving their skills and understanding of PCA techniques in line with WCO Guidelines and international best practices. The WCO looks forward to continuing its collaboration with Sierra Leone in line with the tailor-made track of the Mercator Programme.