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WCO supports Benin with preparation of its first Time Release Study (TRS)

04 febrero 2020

In response to a request from Benin’s Director General of Customs and Indirect Taxation, the World Customs Organization (WCO) organized a National Workshop on the Time Release Study from 13 to 17 January 2020, with the aim of raising awareness and training the staff of Customs and other stakeholders for the performance of the first national Study.

In his opening address, the Director General of Customs and Indirect Taxation thanked the WCO Secretariat for responding favourably to his request for technical assistance, and asked participants to listen attentively to the informative presentations given by the WCO experts.

This Workshop, conducted in French by three experts from the WCO Secretariat and the Brazilian Customs Administration, was organized in the context of the implementation of the provisions (Article 7.6) of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), as well as a recommendation from a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) technical assistance mission to Benin.  The Workshop was attended by more than forty individuals from the Customs Administration, other Government services operating at the border, and the private sector.

During the Workshop, the WCO experts gave presentations on the WCO’s trade facilitation instruments and tools, the role of the WCO in the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) through the MERCATOR programme, the benefits of conducting a TRS, how to carry out the Study and map the procedures leading up to the removal of the goods, the national experiences of certain countries which have already carried out a TRS, and the use of the WCO’s TRS software. 

It is important to highlight the fact that the TRS enables countries to identify bottlenecks affecting the release of goods and then take corrective measures to address those bottlenecks. 

The participants commended the quality of the presentations and exchanges during the Workshop, and appreciated the support offered to the Benin Customs Administration by the WCO.  In particular, this Workshop enabled them to enhance their understanding of the WCO’s TRS Guide and methodology.  The Workshop resulted in the development of a draft mapping of the procedures leading up to the release of the goods, a draft survey questionnaire, and an Action Plan for the successful completion of a TRS in 2020.  The WCO will continue to assist the Benin Customs Administration and support the implementation of this important activity.  

During a closing address delivered by a representative of the Director General of Customs and Indirect Taxation, Benin reaffirmed its determination to conduct its first TRS in 2020.