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The WCO supports Fiji Revenue & Customs Service and stakeholders in the preparation of the Time Release Study (TRS)

15 enero 2019

From 17 to 21 December 2018 in Suva (Fiji Islands), the World Customs Organization (WCO) held a National Workshop to raise awareness of and prepare for the Time Release Study (TRS). This five-day Workshop was organized, with financial support from the Japan Customs Co-operation Fund (CCF/Japan), for the benefit of managerial staff from the Fiji Revenue & Customs Service (FRCS) and the stakeholders (Biosecurity Authority of Fiji, Fiji Ports Limited, Ministry of Health and medical Services as well as Department of Immigration). The Workshop was led by two Experts from the WCO Secretariat in Brussels and from the Customs Administration Laos People and Democratic Republic (PDR).

The Workshop benefited for the opening remarks from Mr. Fazrul Rahman (Director Revenue Management for FRCS) representing the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who, among others, thanked all the agencies that agreed to participate in the workshop, emphasizing the positive collaboration that has been enduring amongst the border agencies in Fiji.

The Workshop, conducted in English, provided TRS training to 26 Customs officials and a number of representatives of the stakeholders involved in the goods clearance process and enabled them to discuss an initial draft of the procedures for releasing Goods. This major Workshop included, among others, a presentation of the TRS methodology, following the version 3 of the WCO’s Guide, and also gave participants the opportunity to work with the WCO’s TRS software and draft an action plan. According to the draft action plan, it is expected that FRCS and the stakeholders will conduct, on their own, the TRS in the near future so as to establish a baseline for further appreciation of progress. It should be indicated that Fiji has acceded to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) on 1st  May 2017 and Fiji has notified article 7.6 related to TRS in category C with the indicative date of implementation by 31 December 2019.

Fiji is working hard at the implementation of trade facilitation measures and provisions included in WCO instruments and tools. Therefore, carrying out its TRS will enable this Country to comply with the requirements of Article 7.6 of the WTO TFA for which WTO Members are encouraged to measure and publish their average release time of goods periodically and in a consistent manner, using tools such as, inter alia, the Time Release Study of the World Customs Organization (WCO).

In his closing speech to the Workshop, Mr. Visvanath Das, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FRCS, stressed the importance of this activity, which will enable his Administration and the stakeholders to identify procedural bottlenecks affecting the release and clearance of goods and, above all, to work together on solutions to facilitate trade and improve the business climate. He thanked the WCO for the timely support within the framework of the implementation of the WTO TFA.

Participants regarded the Workshop as a great success that significantly enhanced their understanding of the WCO TRS guide and methodology. The WCO looks forward to continuing to provide its support to FRCS.