SACU-WCO Customs Development Programme
As part of an effort to promote trade facilitation and develop modern Customs Administrations in SACU, a consultation process between SACU Member States and the World Customs Organisation was initiated in 2007. This consultation focused on identifying priority areas of intervention to be implemented at the regional level as part of the second phase of the WCO Columbus Programme on Customs Reform and Modernisation. This culminated in the conclusion of a comprehensive Customs Development Programme for SACU, which was adopted by the SACU Council of Ministers in December 2008.
The overall objective of the Programme is to contribute to the development of a sustainable and improved economy in SACU with regard to trade, security and social protection through development of Customs Authorities as fair and effective trade management partners as well as modern social protection and revenue collection services; assisting the Member Countries of SACU to comply with international customs instruments and to modernize their respective customs administrations.
The programme specifically aims to assist the Customs administrations in the SACU region to design and implement a comprehensive regional reform programme with a focus on the areas of:
- Regional Customs Policy;
- Customs Legislation;
- Risk Management;
- Trade Partnerships;
- Standard operating Procedures in common areas; and,
- IT Connectivity.
The programme builds upon the progress achieved under the five Customs Initiatives that SACU pursued since 2004. The Customs Development Programme is supported by an overarching HR and Strategic Management Programme, with emphasis on Integrity Systems, HR development and Change Management. It is thus envisaged that upon successful completion and assimilation of the programme, SACU and individual Member States will be able to realize benefits such as:
- Reduced costs to both governments and traders
- Predictability and transparency in the areas of procedures and legislative requirements
- Increased competitiveness of regional firms
- Improved /strengthened co-operation and collaboration with various stakeholders
- Sustainable customs reform and modernization efforts in the region
SACU’s Partners on this programme include: