Delegation of the European Union to Liberia

EU-funded support to the LRA trained more than 300 LRA staff and helped to grow domestic revenue by USD 1 million

25/07/2018 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 180726_3
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Yesterday, Tuesday 24th July, results of the operational phase of the EU-funded two-year ‘Long Term Technical Assistance to the Liberia Revenue Authority Customs Department’ were presented.

A project closure event was held at the Royal Grand Hotel in Monrovia on 24th July 2018 with representatives of project implementer Ecorys, the European Union, the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), government entities, development partners and the private sector present.

In its final presentation, Ecorys demonstrated that success followed throughout the implementation period, with the project achieving the three results expected, and more than 100 outputs delivered under the three components. The project had a significant impact across Component 1 ‘Support to Headquarters’ and Component 2 ‘Support to the Compliance and Enforcement Division’. This included enhancing management capacity through training and capacity building, and establishing and building the capacity of a Customs Modernisation Unit. The project also developed and implemented an intelligence function to support risk assessment, Post Clearance Audit and anti-smuggling operations, and trained a total of 349 staff. Under Component 3 ‘Support to the Urban and Rural Ports’, the project laid the foundations for a Centre of Excellence, created a Central Assessment Unit, and provided extensive training.

Ecorys lead consultant Peter Bennett said "This message of overall progress is reflected in the revenue collection figures, which through the life of the project grew by $1 million per year – highly impressive in a context where other global trade has decreased. Both the LRA Commissioner General, Mrs. Elfrieda Tamba, and the Commissioner of Customs, Mr Saa Saamoi, provided excellent support throughout the project."

European Union Head of Section and acting Head of Cooperation Ioannis Tzartzas said "The European Union contributed more than two million dollars to support Customs, because we believe in the importance of domestic revenue mobilisation and first results show that the project has helped generate much-needed revenue for the Government of Liberia. At the same time, more efficient Customs procedures such as the Central Assessment Unit make it easier for Liberian and international businesses to trade in the years to come.  We hope that the 349 Liberian colleagues who were mentored and trained by the consultants put what they have learned into daily practice now that the experts are leaving Liberia."

Liberia Revenue Authority Commissioner of Customs Saa Saamoi said “The project team, Ecorys, helped our Customs administration over the last two years to identify elements of fraud in Customs and weaknesses in the existing legislations which have the potential to undermine the authority of Customs to collect the needed revenue and manage our borders with the required efficiency. We established a very strong working relationship with the project team, and very often had a common view and approach to tackling existing problems in Customs.”

Background information

  • The project began in April 2016, with the main implementation period running from July 2016 to early August 2018.
  • The programme was implemented by four international experts based in Monrovia: Team Leader Peter Bennett, supported by Key Experts Brian Glancy, Graham Main and Bill Eliasson, as well as a number of international short-term experts providing specialist inputs.
  • The total funding provided by the European Union was €2,100,500.
  • There were two key purposes of this project:
    • To facilitate international and regional trade, to increase revenue from customs operations and to enhance the contribution of customs to Liberia’s development and budget; and
    • To improve accountability, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency of customs operations and management in Liberia.

Associated with these purposes three results were to be delivered by the project:

  • Increasing revenue collection nationally, including the establishment of a ‘Centre of Excellence’;
  • Reduce smuggling and fraud through strengthened capacity for anti-smuggling, intelligence & investigation and enforcement;
  • Increased efficiency and enhanced trade facilitation, including reduced average clearance times, through strengthened capacity for management control and for consistent application of laws, regulations & procedures, in particular promotion of voluntary compliance and post clearance audit operations.

Representatives including Mr Saa Saamoi, Commissioner of Customs; Mr Peter Bennett, Ecorys Team Leader; Mrs Decontee King-Sackie, Acting Commissioner General of Customs; Mr Brian Glancy, Ecorys Customs Expert; and Ioannis Tzartzas, Head of Section and acting Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the EU to Liberia

Representatives including Mr Saa Saamoi, Commissioner of Customs; Mr Peter Bennett, Ecorys Team Leader; Mrs Decontee King-Sackie, Acting Commissioner General of Customs; Mr Brian Glancy, Ecorys Customs Expert; and Ioannis Tzartzas, Head of Section and acting Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the EU to Liberia

 

Mrs Decontee King-Sackie, Acting Commissioner General of Customs, speaking at the project closure event

Mrs Decontee King-Sackie, Acting Commissioner General of Customs, speaking at the project closure event

 

For more information please contact:

Ecorys: Ms Amy Weaving, Project Manager: amy.weaving@ecorys.com

European Union: Pia Buller, Programme Manager: pia.buller@eeas.europa.eu

Office of the National Authorizing Officer: Lemuel Payedoo: lpayedoo@mfdp.gov.lr

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