By Aabigayle McIntosh
The Customs and Excise Department is receiving technical support to achieve its objectives of modernizing and reforming its operations
Presently, a team from the World Customs Organization (WCO) is in the country, engaging with senior officials from the Customs Division, including Comptroller of Customs, Raju Boddu, as part of these reform efforts.
These discussions aim to enhance efficiency and develop an action plan to advance Customs’ modernization and reform agenda,” explained a spokesperson for the Customs Division.
Throughout this week, local customs officials will continue their dialogues with WCO representatives and participate in the WCO Consultation Mechanism Training. This training will cover various areas, including instigating change, reform and modernization, strategic planning, communication, legal matters, and in-field activities.
A company spokesperson highlighted that the training encompasses several key focus areas. Under the “Principles for Implementation Results,” the primary emphasis is on strengthening Customs’ collaboration with the Private Sector to jointly address integrity-related issues, thereby fully embracing the concept of a collective response to corruption.
Regarding “Performance Measurement/Data Analysis,” the Customs Integrity Perception Survey (CIPS) results data, especially the comparison of how Customs is perceived by both Customs officials and the Private Sector, will stimulate discussions and critical thinking among participants.
In the context of “Synergies with Other Initiatives,” efforts will be made to identify possible links with ongoing modernization initiatives like the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and other relevant actions, leveraging and reinforcing their impact.
Finally, in the section focused on “Gender Sensitivity and Inclusivity,” this initiative seeks to promote gender balance in participation, encouraging the Antigua and Barbuda Customs and Excise Division (CED) to adopt a more balanced approach when nominating individuals for its operations.