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WCO supports MENA Region in the implementation of the Pre-arrival Processing System

The WCO with the support from the Japanese Customs Cooperation Fund and Jordanian Customs conducted a regional workshop on the ‘Development of Pre-arrival Processing System’ for the North Africa and Middle East (MENA) region in Amman/Jordan from 25 to 28 February 2019. Eighteen senior and middle-ranking officials from 12 countries of the Region (Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen) participated in the workshop.

Based on the current regional and respective national situation in the participating Member administrations, experts presented detailed information on the need and benefits of pre-arrival processing together with a step-by-step implementation approach. The key building blocks of a Pre-Arrival Processing System including Advance filing, risk management, e-payments and account-based processing were explained. Relevant provisions of the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA), the SAFE Framework of Standards and related instruments and tools were elucidated that included legal obligations, requirements for Advance Cargo Information (ACI), time limits for submission of ACI and effective risk management, payment of applicable duties/taxes and consequent release/clearance.

Furthermore, participants learned about Digital Customs, Coordinated Border Management and Single Window in the context of pre-arrival processing system. The change in the legal position with regard to the implementation of Pre-Arrival Processing systems with the entry into force of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement was also emphasized. A number of related successful case studies and best practices were also shared with participants.

The workshop was well received and appreciated by participants and Jordan Customs. It led to an enhanced understanding of WCO instruments and tools relating to the implementation of the pre-arrival processing system. Discussions also enabled the participants to develop a draft action plan along with a set of recommendations and identify possible ways forward on carrying out necessary amendments/adjustments in their national legislation for the adoption of pre-arrival processing system based on advance electronic data; developing IT and data analytics capabilities; and enhancing coordination with partner government agencies and other stakeholders involved in the international supply chain to explore opportunities for the exchange of data.

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