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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.”
Associated with these purposes three results were to be delivered by the project:
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
Ecorys: Ms Amy Weaving, Project Manager: email@example.com
European Union: Pia Buller, Programme Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of the National Authorizing Officer: Lemuel Payedoo: email@example.com