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The project will facilitate Liberia’s international and regional trade, generate customs revenue and improve the accountability, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency of customs in Liberia. Capacity to tackle smuggling and fraud will be enhanced and the project will support Liberia's compliance with WTO obligations and the objectives of the EU's Economic Partnership Agreement with West Africa. The Customs Department of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) will be in charge of implementation, supported by four long-term international Customs experts, and several short-term experts. This includes Peter Bennett (Team Leader), Brian Glancy and Bill Eliasson, all of whom were present at the event.
Peter Bennett gave a presentation at the launch event outlining the key aspects that will be covered by the project and introducing the Key Expert team. He set out the three main components of the project: Support to the Customs Department Headquarters; Support to the Compliance and Enforcement Division; and Support to Rural and Urban ports, including the development of a Centre of Excellence at the Freeport of Monrovia.
At the event, Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority, Elfrieda Stewart Tamba, thanked the EU and its taxpayers for their timely support towards the transformation of Customs Administration in Liberia, which includes a Centre of Excellence at the Customs One Stop Shop at the Freeport and the resulting positive impact on doing business. She is looking forward to the successful implementation of the project which is critical to improving Liberia’s Doing Business, WCO (World Customs Organisation) and other international rankings.
European Union Chargé d'Affaires Mrs Emma Sundblad said "The European Union is contributing more than two million dollars to the creation of a Customs Centre of Excellence and the fight against smuggling, because we believe that this will generate much-needed revenue for the Government of Liberia. At the same time, more efficient Customs procedures will make it easier for Liberian and international businesses to trade with each other and to invest in Liberia. We hope that the hands-on approach of the experts will help their Liberian colleagues to put things into practice."
The event was further attended by officials of the Government of Liberia, representatives of the private sector, and members of the diplomatic corps and donor partners, many of which are actively supporting the LRA.
For more information please contact:
Ecorys: Amy Weaving, Project Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
EU: Weah Karpeh, Press Officer: Weah.Karpeh@eeas.europa.eu, 0777-731-764