By: Kebba AF Touray

The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) is host to a five day World Custom Organization’s (WCOs) Timely Release Study (TRS). The GIZ funded training currently underway at a local hotel in Senegambia, is meant to harmonize and simplify the processes and procedures of the Authority.

Alieu Ceeesay, Head of Customs, lauded GIZ for sponsoring the workshop. Ceesay said the training aims to identify the weaknesses of custom officers and device ways of improving on the bottlenecks which he disclosed, will impact positively on the operations of Custom Officers.

Samsin Bilanga of WCO, said the workshop is part of WCO, GIZ and GRA’s grant agreement, comprising waste management and TRS components, with the objective of ensuring the successful implementation of the trade facilitation agreement.

Yankuba Darboe, GRA’s Commissioner General, stated that the workshop marks another milestone in the reform and modernization efforts of the Revenue Authority and the capacity building of staff and key stakeholders, with a view to make the Authority a highly efficient revenue organization that contributes to economic growth and development as specified in its current corporate strategic plan 2015-2019.

“TRS workshop is a testimony of the continued collaboration that exists between GRA and its national and international partners. The two day funded workshop which is funded by GIZ, The Dutcsche Company for International Cooperation and supported by WCO’s capacity building program, was meant to harmonize and simplify the processes and procedures of the Authority, with a view to successfully implement the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which seeks to lower trade transaction costs and introduce desirable regulatory changes that facilitate trade,” he said.

The TRS he added, will undoubtedly identify bottlenecks in the country’s supply chain and provide sound basis for planning and implementation to address issues relating to clearance time, and cost.

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