By: Kebba A. F. Touray
The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) in collaboration with World Customs Organization (WCO) and donor support from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), held a two-day virtual workshop on accession to the revised Kyoto Convention. The virtual workshop which was attended by participants, comprised GRA staff and relevant stakeholders such as the Office of the President, Ministries of Finance, Trade and Foreign Affairs, Gambia Ports Authority and the Association of Gambia Clearing and Forwarding Agencies.
The online workshop is meant to further support the Authority to conduct a Gap Analysis for the accession of the country to the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) on the simplification and harmonization of customs procedures.
During deliberations, WCO’s technical support team presented and outlined their program of activities and highlighted the importance of acceding to the RKC for the country, through the support needed from participants.
This was followed by a presentation from Omar Bojang, Customs Manager in charge of Trade Facilitation and International Cooperation, on the update of Gambia’s preparedness to accede the RKC, the challenges involved and the way forward.
During the second day, the activities of the workshop were mainly centered on the Gap Analysis and this attracted the participation and contribution of all stakeholders in attendance.
Prof. Jainaba Kah, from the Office of the President, thanked the donors and WCO for their support saying their presence was a strong indication of Government’s will to support the GRA to accede to “this important convention.”
On his part, the Commissioner General of the GRA Yankuba Darboe thanked WCO and HMRC for their continued support, to his institution. He highlighted the importance and number of benefits for the country to accede to the RKC and went on to elaborate on some of the benefits that will be derived from acceding to the RKC which he said, “is not limited to enhance trade facilitation but predictability in international trade, efficiency in service delivery that will be a foundation for reforming and strengthening Gambia Customs legislation by aligning it with WCO’s best practices.”
Alhagie K. Mbye, Deputy Commissioner in charge of the Monitoring Unit of the Customs Department and Technical Support, thanked participants and WCO while reiterating on the “importance of acceding to the RKC, which he said cannot be underestimated because it serves as a guiding instrument in the work of Customs officials.”