Comoros hosts the 1st African Union Technical Working Group Workshop

18-06-2019 08:32
Under the auspices of the Trade and Industry Division of the African Union Commission, More than twenty delegates and customs representatives from West and Central Africa shared their experiences on outsourced customs services, commonly referred to as "pre-shipment inspection" (Pre-Shipment), entrusted to private companies.

The purpose of the workshop was to accompany these African customs administrations to leave this system set up for the first time in 1963 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Ex-Zaire).

Delegates exchange their experiences on outsourced customs services, long entrusted to private companies that should normally be in the hands of customs authorities.
Over the time, the expected performances could not be meet by the outsourced companies .The latest were unable to raise revenue within the countries they were operating, according to numerous studies. Moreover, they failed as well in terms of capacity building and technicities of the local staff members, which pushed many countries to end the contracts.

Nowadays, some countries have left this system of guardianship while others are still focusing on the services of these companies, often supported by networks of international institutions.
Comoros was late in terms of reforms but the great steps taken in recent years by Comoros customs administration lead the Administration to succeed in such a short time, in taking over all of its missions since in 2006 when the outsourced company has been closed.

“Today, we have to share our experiences and support our administrations to take over sovereign missions long under the influence of private companies,” explained Souef Kamalidini, thanking the technical assistance of the World Customs Organization (WCO), The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development the UNCTAD and the African Union (UA) by reforming and transforming all the customs in the world and African customs in particular.

The workshop, which mobilized more than twenty customs representatives, should lead to the drafting of a "road map", which will indicate the form and stages of support for countries that have not always broken their inspection contracts with the outsourced companies.

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