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WCO WCA Region Meets in Kinshasa for its 10th Meeting of Contact Points for Capacity Building

04 octubre 2019

From 24 to 26 September, the 10th Meeting of National Contact Points for Capacity Building of the West and Central Africa (WCA) region was hosted by the General Directorate of Customs and Excise of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Kinshasa. This important meeting, which is held once a year, was co-organized by the WCA Vice-Chair (Guinea), the Regional Capacity Building Office (ROCB-WCA), and the WCO Secretariat. The meeting was attended by 14 of the 23 Customs Administrations in this region. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Project Management and Performance Measurement for a Better Implementation of Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”

There were interactive presentations and debates during the 3-day meeting on potential areas of regional activity and collaboration including:

  • the Role of National Contact Points (NCPs) for Capacity Building and the possibility of enhancing their contributions to customs reform planning, monitoring and evaluation, and coordinate the activities between Customs Administrations, the WCO and its regional structures;
  • monitoring the implementation of the 2018-2022 Regional Strategic Plan;
  • assessing the situation in the region in regard to measuring the performance of the customs activity and indicators to monitor reform, in particular monitoring the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement;
  • data analysis and project management as modern and efficient tools for the implementation of customs reforms.

"Mirror", a tool developed by the ROCB to monitor and evaluate the implementation, at national and regional levels, of the regional strategic plan and the "regional coaching program" were also the subject of fruitful discussion and debates.

Also of note, the DRC Customs demonstrated its electronic cargo tracking system. This type of system that is used by many countries in the Region allows Customs users to track shipments in real time and detect anomalies and potential fraud.  On the downside, they are fairly expensive and can also slow down customs clearance times, especially if transport involves more than one country, the tracking systems are national and/or incompatible with each other.

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