By: Kebba AF Touray
The Technical Support and Monitoring Unit (TSMU) of the Customs Department has recently concluded its five-day monitoring visit to its border posts in the provincial Gambia.
The monitoring visit, which started on the 7th of June and ended on the 11th June 2021, was aimed at enriching the knowledge of customs officers with the most contemporary skills, tools, processes and procedures that characterizes modern day customs activities.
The Custom Department believe the visit will undoubtedly keep officers abreast with some of the success defining engagements of the department in a bid to transform the unit to an efficient revenue administration body.
The deputy commissioner and head of the delegation, Alhagie K Mbye, expressed his optimism that the visit will help his team to familiarize with the officers posted at the borders.
Mr. Mbaye further explained that the unit was established pursuant to the recommendation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) technical team in the Gambia in 2015, with a view to oversee and streamline all strategic functions of the customs department, including but not limited to policy planning and implementation, trade facilitation, international cooperation and stakeholder engagement, budgeting, and reporting.
In the execution of the aforesaid mandate, the deputy commissioner gave a rundown of some of the recent activities embarked upon by the unit, including migration to ASYCUDA World, migration to HS 2012, roll out of SIGMAT in December 2021, and implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO/TFA).
He said the recent activities included accession to the Revised Kyoto Convention, bilateral arrangements, codification of transit rules between the Gambia and Senegal, policy planning and implementation and review of the Customs Act (2010) and Customs regulation (2013).
Mbaye cited the Customs Brokers and codification of the transit rules by the unit as few of the many successes registered in the area of policy planning and implementation.
Mbaye, who also doubles as the deputy commissioner of the GRA on behalf of commissioner general, urged the officers to remain discipline, professional and maintain high standards of integrity and the core values of the GRA.
The border posts visited were Amdalai Border Post, Farafenni Border Post, Bansang Border Post, Basse Border Post, Soma Border Post and Jiboroh Border Post.