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WCO Support for enhancing the Single Window Environment in Zambia

25 noviembre 2019

A National Single Window Workshop, organized by the World Customs Organization (WCO), was held in Lusaka, Zambia, from 4 to 8 November 2019. The Workshop was organized under the HMRC-WCO-UNCTAD Programme funded by the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) via Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of the United Kingdom, and under the auspices of the WCO Mercator Programme.  The Workshop succeeded a WCO field mission on implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in Zambia which highlighted a recommendation to reinforce efforts to prepare other border agencies for digitalization and the adoption of Zambia Electronic Single Window, coupled with an outreach programme to raise awareness and build inclusive consultations and communication amongst all border agencies.

The Workshop was officially opened by Mr. Mushuma Mulenga, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry (MCTI).  In his opening speech, the Permanent Secretary welcomed the participants and expressed Zambia’s commitment to the implementation of the WTO TFA while encouraging the continuous involvement of Cross Border Regulatory Agencies (CBRAs) for integrated implementation of the Single Window Environment.

The Workshop was attended by 30 participants from Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce, Trade & Industry, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Natural Resources, Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency, Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority, and private sector participants such as Zambia Customs & Forwarding Agents Association(ZCFAA), Truckers Association of Zambia, and Crushers and Edible Oil Refiners Association, proving its effectiveness as a platform for dialogue and cooperation.

The Workshop aimed to strengthen officials' knowledge and capabilities in specific fields of Coordinated Border Management (CBM) in order to enhance the implementation of the Single Window Environment, improve CBM procedures, reduce border clearance times and thereby costs for trade, and to improve Government’s response to issues related border management.

Taking stock of other Members’ experiences and best practices, the Workshop emphasized the paramount role of all agencies in achieving a sound Single Window operating environment, while underscoring crucial activities that should be conducted to ensure the success of the initiative, such as a legal gap analysis, a business process analysis and reengineering, data harmonization and an attentive service design. The practical approach of the Workshop, as well as a field visit to the Chirundu One Stop Border Post, enabled the participants to analyze and apply the concepts derived from WCO instruments and tools, and tailored into relevant scenarios.

After a dynamic discussion on the way forward, the Workshop was closed by the Commissioner of Customs services of ZRA, Mr Dingani C. Banda, who emphasized the value of the Workshop in strengthening the collaboration among CBRAs in the Single Window Environment implementation journey.