The Gambia has deposited its instruments of accession to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonisation of Customs Procedures (Revised Kyoto Convention) with the World Customs Organisation. The West African country is the 134th Contracting Party to the convention, which is the blueprint for modern and efficient Customs procedures in the 21st century.
“I am pleased that The Gambia finally accessioned to this WCO instrument as it plays a key role in facilitating trade and is regarded as a blueprint for effective and modern Customs procedures,” said Gambia Revenue Authority’s Commissioner General, Yankuba Darboe who led the Gambian delegation to Brussel.
Recognised as a major trade facilitation instrument, some of the Revised Kyoto Convention’s key elements include the application of simplified customs procedures in a predictable and transparent environment, the maximum use of information technology, the utilisation of risk management, a strong partnership with the trade and other stakeholders, and a readily accessible system of appeals.
The convention focuses on transparency and predictability of customs actions; standardisation and simplification of the goods declaration and supporting documents; simplified procedures for authorised persons; maximum use of information technology; minimum necessary customs control to ensure compliance with regulations; use of risk management and audit-based controls and coordinated interventions with other border agencies.
It also promotes trade facilitation and effective controls through its legal provisions that detail the application of simple yet efficient procedures. The revised Convention also contains new and obligatory rules for its application which all Contracting Parties must accept without reservation.
The accession letter was signed by The Gambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mamadou Tangara.
Commissioner General Darboe, whose office was instrumental in facilitating the accession process, said the accession is expected to improve and enhance trade and provide international trade with predictability and efficiency. “It embodies best practices of our national legislation and its implementation would enable The Gambia to meet its international commitments concerning trade and border proceedings,” he said.
During the meeting, delegates from about 185 countries elected Ian Saunders from the United States as the new Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation for a five-year term.
Edward Kieswetter, the Commissioner General of the South Africa Revenue Service, was elected Chairman of the WCO Council.