The Top Management of Afghan Customs Department (ACD) participated in Customs Diagnostic Workshop organized by the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan from 19th September to 29 September, 2016. The Workshop is the first phase within the Columbus Program (Annexure A) which is an enabler for establishing key requirements for customs modernization and reforms as well as the effective implementation of Afghanistan’s WTO commitments, including the Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA). Ahmad Reshad Popal, the Director General Customs, said that “the Afghan Customs Department is committed to bring about modernizationand reforms and the ACD management makes sure the international best practices are observed and put into action in order to minimize the corruption.”
The ACD’s mission is to strive for partnership with the trading community and international best practices through harmonized procedures in order to strengthen the economy of the country. Therefore, the WCO’s diagnostic assessment is viewed as a tool with key objectives toaccomplish its mission.
The key objectives of the WCO diagnostic assessment are as follow;
- To undertake a comprehensive diagnostic of the Afghanistan Customs Department;
- To engage ACD officers in the preparation of the diagnostic conclusions;
- To identify areas for further in-country diagnostic assessment;
- To identify priority technical assistance capacity building needs within the ACD;
- To develop a forward plan for collaboration between the ACD and the WCO.
This workshop is being facilitated by experts from the United States, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Zambia. It isconsidered a vital step during which the above objectives will be achieved and the ACD will be able to strive for more comprehensive modernization agenda for long short term and long term that would eventually enable customs organization to deliver customs revenue and effective enforcement of rules and regulations. As the result of the Diagnostic, a report along with recommendations will be produced in order to have a concert road map for future.