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Home / NamRA initiative to eliminate border delays…new initiative provides trading transparency and predictability

NamRA initiative to eliminate border delays…new initiative provides trading transparency and predictability

2022-07-13  Maihapa Ndjavera

NamRA initiative to eliminate border delays…new initiative provides trading transparency and predictability

The Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) yesterday launched an advanced ruling programme, which is an official written biding decision on classification, origin or valuation of goods prior to an import or export transaction. The decisions issued by NamRA will apply to international laws pertaining to the importation or exportation of goods as part of the customs modernisation reform. 

At the launch, Executive Secretary of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Secretariat Paulina Elago, said this is a significant improvement for Namibia. She noted the launch comes at the opportune time when the world is recovering from global economic losses caused by Covid-19. 

“The initiative will go a long way in responding to a broader international framework of the World Trade Organisation on trade facilitation agreement that places an obligation to issue advance ruling in respect of tariff classification, origin and valuation matters,” Elago stated.  

She added the programme provides certainty of cross border transactions and this reduces disputes during the clearing of goods, thus eliminating unnecessary border delays. 

According to the SACU chief, it is important traders are certain with regards to importation requirements for their goods as this will reduce chances of product misclassification. Furthermore, the advance ruling programme is intended to support Namibian traders in reducing time spent at borders. This will further contribute to reducing cost of doing business and improve Namibia’s performance and rating in the trading across border index as well as the ease of doing business. 

Also, Elago said the launch will make business in the SACU region more competitive and maximise on the benefits from developments such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

At the same occasion, Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Kunio Mikuriya shared the same sentiment, saying the initiative is important as advance ruling will serve traders and facilitate trade. 

“With advance ruling, we can provide transparency and predictability that the trading community really wants. I am sure in the SACU region, it can be a model for providing a good business environment. This is a very important step that will make Namibia a favourable place for trade, investment and business,” he said. 

Earlier this week, Mikuriya paid a courtesy call on Prime Minster Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila as part of a three-day official visit to Namibia. 

At the visit, the prime minister expressed Namibia’s gratitude for the WCO’s willingness to assist the country in its effort to make NamRA a world class revenue agency. Alluding to the Harambee Prosperity Plan’s pillar on effective governance, she assured the WCO that Namibia views effective governance as a pre-requisite for success in economic development and technological advancement.

In turn, the WCO secretary general advised the PM that if Namibia aspires to have a world class revenue agency, it needs to embrace the “Ps of effective governance”; namely provide the “political” will and support to NamRA, ensure strong “partnership” between customers, business and other government agencies and recognise the importance of “people” by providing good management of financial and human resources. This includes decent working conditions and competitive remunerations to obviate possible acceptance of bribes and corruption. 

Mikuriya further cautioned that Namibia knows it’s needs and priorities and it should not be driven by donors, but rather take ownership of the process and manage partnerships.

2022-07-13  Maihapa Ndjavera

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