Customs Modernisation | Trade Facilitation

Customs Modernisation | Trade Facilitation | Consultancy Services

We provide a comprehensive array of customs modernisation and customs reform consultancy services. Our primary focus is on enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of Customs and other border administrations. We have practical experience of implementing customs modernisation and reform programmes at the highest possible level. For example, James Lenaghan, our CEO, was Director of Customs for the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) from 2012-2105. During this time he covered almost every facet of customs management and administration.

  • He was responsible for managing 650 customs officers and staff and $1billion revenues.
  • He formulated revenue, anti-smuggling, security and risk management policies and strategies, in addition to annual operation plans and budgets.
  • He liaised with the Police, Coastguard, Prime Minister’s Office and National Security Committees in order to protect Mauritius from the threats of smuggling, illicit trade, terrorism, narcotics and weapons. He provided guidance to staff on issues relating to the interpretation of customs law and the exercise of discretion.
  • He issued administrative decisions in consultation with Legal Services Department. He authorised assessments, penalties, refunds and settlements.
  • He reviewed and investigated integrity breaches by staff in conjunction with the Internal Affairs Department.
  • He was responsible for the implementation and maintenance of Custom’s ISO accreditation.
  • He was responsible for overseeing the migration of Customs to a new international airport and the construction of a $5m Customs facility at the Air Cargo Village.
  • He identified training and development needs and ensured alignment with MRA Customs training strategy.
  • He oversaw the implementation of Single Window and various customs processing related systems.
  • He liaised with a variety of Ministries (Finance, Foreign Affairs, Industry & Commerce and Health) and institutions (Chamber of Commerce, Exporters Association, Freeport Users).
  • He represented Mauritius at conferences and meetings organised by the WCO, WTO, WCO-ESA, African Union, COMESA, SADC, APEI, IoC, IOR-ARC, World Bank and the IMF.

Customs Modernisation | Trade Facilitation | Needs & Challenges

We assist public and private sector organisations in transition economies worldwide which are facing a range of development challenges associated with the globalisation of trade. For instance, amongst the most pressing issue is the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. It further contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area. Assistance is required to implement other international agreements, such as the WCO SAFE Package; Single Window; and the plethora of other procedural adjustments associated with WCO and WTO harmonisation and approximation. Our consultancy services deliver significant dividends for governments and donors alike by enabling developing countries to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the expanding global trading system. Many of our assignments also aim to improve the Ease of Doing Business in a country.

Philosophy

We have proven in-depth experience and expertise in the provision of customs modernisation and trade facilitation consultancy services. We are happy to work with clients directly, in partnership with other development and consulting firms, and/or through international donors. We have delivered customs modernisation and trade facilitation consultancy services in over 60 countries. The regions covered include Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa. Our clients include governments, international project management companies, and key donors such as the European Union, UNDP, ADB and the World Bank. We are delighted to provide references for all of our work.

We believe that effective development work is characterised by the generation of client ownership and self-sustainability. Whilst we are always happy to solve problems for our clients, we also aim to develop their capacity to diagnose and deal with subsequent, similar issues by themselves. In this way, their dependence on external assistance progressively decreases, whilst a Beneficiaries capability, self-confidence and self-esteem all rise.

Our consulting and training styles are therefore collaborative. We try to understand issues from the Beneficiaries point of view, and from their organisational, cultural and social contexts; we provide solutions that are tailored to those contexts, whilst still addressing broader requirements such as international minimum standards. Above all, we concentrate on helping the Beneficiaries to understand, accept, take ownership of, and become able to implement the solutions we devise.

Experience

We have provided customs modernisation and capacity building services in the following countries: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Aruba, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Bhutan, Botswana, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Curaçao Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Niue, Palau, Philippines, Romania, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, UAE, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu and Vietnam.