WCO and Finland sign a new multi-year Agreement to progress implementation of the Trade Facilitation agenda in the East and Southern Africa Region

12 七月 2016

On 8 July 2016 in Brussels, the WCO and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland signed a new multi-year agreement on a capacity building project "to progress the trade facilitation (TF) agenda, within the framework of the WCO Mercator Programme in the East and Southern Africa (ESA) Region 2016-2018". The agreement makes available a grant of 3 Million Euro from the Finnish government to the project over a period of three years.

The new WCO-Finland ESA project is motivated by, and builds on, a previous cooperation agreement between the WCO and the government of Finland, covering the period from September 2011 to March 2016, and resulting in the successful implementation of the project "Building Trade Capacity through Customs Modernization in the East and Southern Africa Region".

The new project was jointly developed by the WCO Secretariat and Finnish Customs in close cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Member administrations of the ESA region.

Based on regional/national priorities the project will focus on the following components: Trade Facilitation implementation, organizational and Institutional capacity, Human Resource Management development, and building sustainable regional expertise and autonomy. The fifth component, Governance, will be executed through a Project Management Office located in the premises of the ESA Regional Office for Capacity Building in Nairobi, Kenya and with the supervision by a Project Steering Committee.

Signing the Agreement on behalf of the WCO, Mr. Ray McDonagh thanked the Government of Finland for the support, and emphasized the effective implementation of the WTO TFA by Customs as a key priority of the WCO. Finland was represented by His Excellency Timo Ranta, Ambassador of Finland to Belgium.

Project implementation will start in September 2016. The first meeting of the Project Steering Committee is expected to be convened immediately after the start of the project.