Trade and Customs Partnership to Fight against Corruption and Safe guarding Integrity

Wold Customs Organisation
East and Southern Africa Region

The Customs world has to accept that the incentives and opportunities exist in all revenuecollecting agencies to engage in corrupt practices.
Based on this premise, every Customs administration should attempt to provide a framework for legal and administrative procedures that are necessary to detect, punish, and reduce such undesirable behavior.

The trade community has a role to play in promoting integrity

WCO ESA Region


 On-going vigilance to ensure that the measures continue to operate and that corrupt behavior is detected and dealt with.Building a system to promote integrity in Customs Administration Building a system to promote integrity in customs administration requires:  Putting in place measures to combat corruption.  Top Leadership commitment to address the problem and acting as role models. This should go beyond mere statements that corruption will not be tolerated to the actual actions. WCO ESA Region 3 .

transparent procedures. Whistle blowing programs Business co-operation Customs co-operation WCO ESA Region 4 . a professional customs administration. Effective internal audit systems with independence. code of conduct. 7.Main elements to promote integrity in Customs administration 1. 6. 9. regulatory. 4. simple. 8. 3. performance standards. Clear legal. 5. 2. and administrative framework for Customs Management.

and allowed to raise issues of corruption. WCO ESA Region 5 . able. • Dialogue with the trade community. honest judicial system. and •A press that is interested. there should also be an atmosphere that encourages the following.Note!!! In support of these elements. •An independent.

and clear criteria should guide administrative discretion in their application. regulatory. Laws and regulations related to Customs should be easily accessible and understandable. WCO ESA Region 6 . Clear legal.1. and administrative framework for Customs Management From a customs administrators point of view. clear legislation creates the framework for the development of systems and procedures that are easily understood by both the trade community and the officials. simple.

including criminal prosecution WCO ESA Region 7 . for example.  Serious cases of fraud. for broken seals on vehicles transporting goods in-transit and presentation of declarations with an unacceptable level errors. including the bribing of revenue officials.Effective penalty system A good penalty system should provide the administrator with the ability to impose administrative penalties for minor offences. should result in more serious actions. This may include:  fines.

independence of the of the system. it is have the ability to assured of a fair and decisions are widely WCO ESA Region 8 . In order to preserve the officials and the integrity important that taxpayers challenge decisions and be equitable hearing and that publicized. no matter how well written.Provide an independent appeal mechanism Every customs law. is capable of being interpreted differently.

2. WCO ESA Region 9 . transparent procedures It is the responsibility of the customs administrators to put in place simple. it reduce: the opportunities for corruption. The reasons for this approach are twofold. – Firstly. Simple. easily understood systems and procedures. – Secondly. it reduces the compliance costs for the importers and exporters and.

transparent procedures (cont’d) To be effective and to reduce the opportunities for corruption. Computerization – may reduce customs interventions WCO ESA Region 10 . Customs systems should be based on the following: – – – – one step process minimize the information and documentation requirement consistent interpretations.Simple.

Professional customs administrations The development of professional Customs administrations is important. at the same time. not only to improve the effectiveness of these administrations but. including : WCO ESA Region 11 .3. The best way of ensuring fairness and neutrality in the administration of the Customs administration is to develop professional administrations with clearly defined responsibilities and accountability for performance. to address issues of corruption.

knowledgeable supervisors and managers.Professional management Customs administration to perform effectively require skilled. WCO ESA Region 12 .

little.Challenge Too often the senior officials in the administrations change as governments change and individuals with little or no knowledge of legislation. In these circumstances. perhaps. regulations. if any. systems. staff may perceive that they have limited career opportunities in the organization. and procedures are put in charge of collecting the revenue. "loyalty" to the organization and. consequently be more open to corruption WCO ESA Region 13 .

supervision of activities. Consideration of results of internal audits. This includes: – – – – – – – a clear statement of goals and objectives. well documented operating procedures. and views of employees in evaluating the operations of an office. and a regular review of the outputs of employees. feedback from importers and exporters.Management controls These are an essential component of well-run customs administrations. WCO ESA Region 14 .

WCO ESA Region 15 .Compensation and working conditions Customs administrators must be provided with sufficient compensation to reduce the incentive to engage in corrupt practices. compensation can be set at a level that provides a good standard of Living and eliminates the need to accept "facilitation fees". While civil service pay can never be at a level that will discourage all corrupt behavior.

and supplies.Appropriate working conditions The provision of appropriate working conditions is also important. and transportation). proper' office space. The administration should not have to rely on importers. WCO ESA Region 16 . or their agents to provide any facilities or equipment which could imply that a favor is expected in return. computers.&. This includes: 1. equipment (e. telephones. exporters. 2.

WCO ESA Region 17 . it is important that staff rotations take place on a regular basis to reduce opportunities for collusion. Revenue agencies are no different in this regard.Staff rotation Any regulatory agency is better able to carry out its functions in an impartial manner if it remains at arms length from those it is charged with regulating. Accordingly.

and the public to measure how well an administration is performing. management.4. WCO ESA Region 18 . Performance standards Customs administrations should put in place performance standards that enable policy makers.

Secondly it enables management to measure the performance of offices and individuals and to identity potential problems. Fourthly. if agreed standards are not met. it makes very clear to the employees that there are expectations and that their performance will be measured against these expectations. WCO ESA Region 19 . • • Thirdly. the public is aware of what is expected and. it enables the policy makers including Ministers to hold heads of administrations accountable.Advantages • • Firstly. therefore. should be willing and encouraged to bring to the attention of management cases where the standards have not been met.

This is not enough. in Customs administrations. • Performance standards. the only performance standard established for the administrations is the requirement to meet certain revenue targets. should include the following: WCO ESA Region 20 . particularly if corruption is a problem.NOTE • Too often.

offices. By establishing service standards and making them known to staff and to importers and exporters. For importers. An administration can establish monitoring mechanisms to identify transactions. there should be clearly articulated standards for the various functions that are performed. it is very important that they know the time that the goods will be under customs control. WCO ESA Region 21 . • Reports from the monitoring system may also help to identify areas that should be investigated for potential corrupt practices.Service standards • • • • In customs administrations. and officers that do not meet the required standards.

with these expectations. customs exporters be aware of the conduct that is expected of both parties. administrators can hold employees accountable for performance and take appropriate action. WCO ESA Region 22 . it must also include a description of the disciplinary actions.5. Code of conduct • It is important that employees and importers and • By clearly articulating expectations. • Many administrations publish a 'code of conduct" • For such a code to be effective.

Internal audit activities should include:compliance with operational procedures— Operational procedures should be clearly defined and laid out in manuals or procedure guides. this must be supplemented by effective internal audit. Effective internal audit While it is the overall responsibility of management to monitor performance and to ensure that operational policies are being followed and performance standards are being met. WCO ESA Region 23 .6.

Whistle blowing program The customs legislation should provide for a reward to whistle blowers WCO ESA Region 24 .7.

 Trade associations could help in capacity building such as the accounting associations.  Business Associations could also develop integrity codes of conduct. Business co-operation The Business community has a role to play in promoting integrity.  Develop integrity advocacy programs.8. WCO ESA Region 25 .  Sign a MOUs on facilitating trade as provided for under Pillar 2 of SAFE.

joint integrity training programs. Information sharing on advance cargo.     Signed MOUs amongst themselves thus implementing Pillar 1 of SAFE – Examples: Joint Border controls.9. Established audit and investigation units Embraced WCO trade facilitation instruments such as the KYOTO convention. WCO ESA Region 26 . Majority of member administrations have. Regional perspective Member administrations are at varying stages of integrity development. Developed codes of conducts.

Promote customs to customs co-operation and where possible share infrastructure such as NII. Regional perspective (Cont’d) In particular. 2007. there is no easy or quick solution to the issue of integrity WCO ESA Region 27 . Develop a regional pool of experts on integrity.9. Embrace integrity development tools of the WCO. In addition Member administrations AGREED to:        Develop a regional integrity model code of conduct. Undertake peer reviews. the WCO ESA region has demonstrated its commitment to promoting integrity through the NAIROBI INTEGRITY RESOLUTION of 24th Feb. Set up a C2B partnership week The challenge is walking the talk! Finally. Harmonize risk management systems.

Thank you for your attention WCO ESA Region 28 .

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