By: Kebba AF Touray
The Gambia through the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) has moved closer to her accession to the Kyoto Convention of 1974.
GRA organized a workshop to highlight the progress made in their strive to complete The Gambia’s accession to the Revised Kyoto Convention as well as designing the roadmap for the completion of the accession process.
Yankuba Darboe, Commissioner General of GRA, reminded the convergence that The Gambia ratified the Kyoto Convention in 1974 and that since its entry into force of the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) in 2006.
He said The Gambia remains one of the few countries yet to ratify the Convention despite the numerous benefits that can be derived from ratifying the Convention.
“The World Customs Organization (WCO) did not shy away from reminding us about this fact any time we attended meetings at the WCO headquarters in Brussels. The Management of the Gambia Revenue Authority is determined to end this undesirable state of affair,” he said. “In a bid to speedy up the accession process, the Management of GRA set up a Steering Committee in 2019 to kick start the accession process”.
Since its setting up, Darboe said the RKC Committee has engaged the relevant stakeholders in the process and together designed a roadmap for the process but the pandemic has impacted on the realization of the objectives of the committee.
“The workshop today is a culmination of the hard work of the Committee and the various stakeholders and it demonstrates the seriousness with which they have taken this assignment,” he said.
Darboe commended the committee and its relevant stakeholders for the good job they have executed so far. He assured that as they look forward to the end of the road on this assignment, he implored them not to relent until the submission of the instrument of ratification to the WCO is attained in the shortest possible time.
Commissioner Darboe explained that even though the pandemic was determined to stall this process, the online workshop should be a manifestation of their resolve to get the assignment done.
“Acceding to the RKC brings enormous benefit to The Gambia. As the foremost WCO convention on the simplification and harmonization of Customs procedures, it will no doubt improve and enhance trade facilitation, provide international trade with predictability and efficiency that it requires and will lay a solid foundation for reforming, as well strengthening our Customs legislations and standardizing them with WCO best practice,” he said.
Commissioner Darboe encouraged the participants to participate fully and make meaningful contributions to the process so that the Gambia will also join the committee of nations that are benefiting from the trade facilitation mechanisms of the RKC, adding that they are integral parts in the process.
He also acknowledged the leading role the WCO is playing in this process, thus he, on behalf of the Board and Management of GRA, thanked WCO for the support.
He also thanked Her Majest’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for sponsoring the workshop as well as commended the RKC Committee and the various stakeholders for the hard work they exhibited.