SACU member states sign MoU with UK

Southern African Customs Union (SACU) has signed of Memorandum of Understanding between the United Kingdom of Great Britain (UK) and Northern Ireland for support of the SACU Custom Modernisation Program on 20 Jan in London.

The program seeks to strengthen collaboration and to enhance administrative efficiencies amongst Customs Administrations in the SACU Member States of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa, a media statement availed to Nampa on Tuesday reads.

The key objective of the Programme is to enhance efficiency to facilitate cross border movement of goods while securing borders to curb the scourge of illicit trade, as well as to ensure seamless movement of legitimate trade.

The Programme also aims to promote Traders' compliance with national laws and policies. The Programme is further designed to enhance efficiency in the core strategic areas of Customs Administration, notably Information Technology Systems, Strategies, Processes, and Procedures. This entails the development and implementation of the regional Customs Tools and Frameworks to strengthen cooperation and collaboration on IT Connectivity; Risk Management and Enforcement; Preferred Trader Programme; and Customs Legislative Framework, the statement reads.

To date the key regional Customs Tools and Frameworks have been developed including Model Bilateral Arrangement to facilitate automatic exchange of information; Preferred Trader Programme Engagement Strategy; Preferred Trader Programme Training Manuals on Risk Management and Audit for Customs Officials; Preferred Trader Programme Internal and External Manuals to guide Customs Officials and Traders on implementation of the Preferred Traders Program.

The funding support for the subsequent year will be based on the activities to be agreed upon by both parties.

It is envisaged that upon full implementation of the SACU Customs Modernisation Programme, the SACU region will benefit from amongst others, reduced costs, predictability, and transparency, improved co-operation, and collaboration with various stakeholders, increased competitiveness and Sustainable customs reform and modernization efforts in the region., the report reads.

The High Commissioner of Botswana and the representatives of the High Commissioners of Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa witnessed the signing of the MoU.

Source: Namibia Press Agency