WCO contributes to strengthening Zimbabwe’s capacities on Authorised Economic Operator and Post Clearance Audit

30 agosto 2018

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) approved the Mercator Implementation Plan for Zimbabwe in September 2017. One of the Strategic Objectives of the Plan is to strengthen and expand ZIMRA’s Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) and Post-Clearance Audit (PCA) programmes.

With financial support under the WCO ESA Finland Project, a PCA/PTP (Preferred Trader Programme) Benchmark Visit for ZIMRA officials took place from 13 – 17 August 2018 at the South African Revenue Service in Pretoria, South Africa. A delegation of five officials from ZIMRA which included Head of Compliance and Risk, Manager Compliance, Manager Risk and PCA Officers attended the Benchmark visit. They were accompanied by the ZIMRA Mercator Programme Advisor and a WCO PCA expert.

The objective of this mission was to assist ZIMRA in strengthening its PCA capacities and expanding its AEO programme to include a broad range of compliant traders from Zimbabwe and elsewhere in the region, and also improve knowledge and skills of auditors to carry out Customs audits, especially system-based audits that support the trader segmentation and facilitation approach.

The Benchmark Visit covered information on the SARS PTP processes from application, processing, client engagements activities, risk management and trader profiling, and PCA activities, covering system documentation and walkthroughs. Highlight of the mission was a visit to Nissan South Africa, a SARS Preferred Trader who shared experiences and processes for best practice. Most importantly, lesson learnt was the importance of establishing trust and relationship between Business and Customs. This approach has unlocked tangible benefits for both SARS and Preferred Traders and improved trade facilitation.

During the feedback and closing session, the ZIMRA delegation expressed gratitude and appreciation to SARS and the WCO for organizing this mission. The participants stated that this exposure will assist in expanding ZIMRA’s AEO programme and enhance its PCA capacities as work on Zimbabwe’s adherence to the WTO TFA requirements is under way.