WCO underlines importance of African customs to CFTA

L-r: President of Comoros, Mr. Azali Assoumani, and WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya

The Secretary General of World Customs Organisation (WCO), Dr. Kunio Mikuriya has underlined the importance of customs’ contribution to the future implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), through the application of WCO instruments.

WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya stated this at the 10th African Union Sub-Committee of Directors General of Customs held recently in Moroni, Comoros.

He affirmed that the AU’s general theme for this year, namely “Fighting Corruption”, could be linked to the WCO’s theme of “A Secure Business Environment”, given that improving integrity formed the basis of efforts by the global Customs community to foster trust between the public and private sectors in terms of security and economic competitiveness.

Mikuriya also announced the launch of the Harmonized System (HS) capacity building project in Africa, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the WCO.

He said that, in 2017, the WCO had supported Single Window implementation in Comoros and he underscored the role and importance of technology in the establishment of a fair and simplified trade environment and in the fight against corruption.

The AU Commissioner of Customs for Trade and Industry, Ambassador Albert Muchanga, emphasized the importance of prompt ratification of the CFTA signed in March by Heads of States in Africa.

Muchanga expressed his wish for ongoing partnership with the WCO in a range of areas.  Mr. Saïd Ali Chayhane, Comoros Minister of Finance and Budget, then officially opened the Committee meeting.

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