Customs and Excise Customs and Excise

Mission statement

To protect the society with respect to the international movement of goods and people to collect control and secure revenue; to facilitate trade whilst exercising appropriate control, and to advance Namibia's interests regionally and internationally in these areas.

Activities

The role of the Directorate of Customs and Excise within the Department of Revenue Management is complex and mainly encompasses the control of international movement of goods, people and conveyances.  This requires:

  • Participation in national, regional, and international dialogue involving international trade. Implementation of policies, regulations and procedures arising from these dialogues. Enforcement of the Customs and Excise laws of the Republic of Namibia , including those of line Ministries and/or other agencies.
  • Detection and interdiction of illicit activities, including cross border movement of undeclared or under-declared goods and contraband such as controlled substances and drugs
  • Facilitating smooth movement and clearance of legitimate trade.
  • Continuously perform these duties professionally, efficiently and effectively in a manner that demonstrates pride in our Nation, our Organization and our Mission .
  • Collection of revenues and accurate trade statistics.
  • Implementation of strategic human resource management programmes that support and respond to trade demands.
  • Maintaining appropriate external communications that cascade voluntary compliance through consultative meetings with stakeholders.

Achievement

Strategic planning conferences

 

The Strategic Planning Conference has held twice annually to review progress as contained in the divisional action plans. The purpose is to outline our corporate strategies, and to dictate what we intend to achieve, how we will go about it, and how our performance is to be assessed. This year the emphasis was on monitoring each action plan resulting in a more complete overview of corporate achievement.  In the coming year we intend to include representatives from major client groups in the preliminary discussions leading to the development of corporate strategies to ensure that they are in line with the needs of the community, industry and other agencies.

 

  Regional and international involvement

  Southern African Customs Union (SACU)

  The SACU Headquarters Agreement with the Host Country was signed between Hon. Sara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Namibia and SACU Executive Secretary, Ms Tswelopele Moremi during the period under review.  The SACU Secretariat, which has been established in Windhoek two years ago, appointed its Directors, Legal Advisor, Auditor, Human Resource Expert and Supporting Staff.

The Tariff Board and National Bodies envisaged in the SACU Agreement (2002) must still be established.  Draft annexure of both the Tariff Board and National Bodies have been finalized and on their way to legal drafters for legal drafting.  Draft annexure to the SACU Agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance and SACU Single Origin are about to be completed. The Ministry of Finance seconded two staff members to the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) for training purposes in establishing National Bodies.

The Task Team on the Management of the Common Revenue Pool was established as directed by the SACU Council of Ministers to discuss the terms of reference for the update of the Centre for Research into Economics and Finance in Southern Africa (CREFSA) report.

Revenue from SACU shares

Revenue collected during the period under review amounts to N$ 5 388 627 848 billion (bn) compared to the previous year figure of N$ 3 228 193 326 billion.  The Republic of Namibia received also adjustments for 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 FY in terms of 1969 SACU Agreement which amounts to N$ 884 918 000 (thousands) and N$ 1 082 790 000 billon for 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 FY.  The total adjustments in terms of 1969 SACU Agreement amounted to N$ 1 967 708 000 billion.

Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Namibian Customs and Excise continues to actively participate in the SADC Customs Advisory Working Groups (CAWG's) and the Sub-Committee on Customs Cooperation (SCCC) established under the Trade Protocol.  The Directorate had also participated in reviewing of Model Customs Act and Draft Common External Tariff Nomenclature as well as SADC Transit Regulation and the Rules of Origin Procedure Manual.

World Customs Organization (WCO)

Namibia Customs and Excise is a fully paid-up member of the WCO.  Namibia Customs has now acceded to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (as amended) – (Revised Kyoto Convention) as from the 3 rd February 2006. 

Namibia Customs and Excise has completed WCO Columbus Programme on the implementation of the SAFE Programme (Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade).

Ongoing Free/Preferential Trade Agreement (FTA)/(PTA) Negotiations

Namibian Customs and Excise continues to actively participate on the SACU/EFTA; SACU/EPA; SACU/MERCOSUR and SACU/USA FTA/PTA negotiations.

Memorandums of understanding

A special committee has been established to review existing Memorandums of Understanding and to coordinate Directorate efforts to negotiate further MOU's with sister customs administrations and other stakeholders.

Draft MOU's exchanged between Zambia

Constraints

  • Lack of participating fully in regional and international meetings and negotiations hampers the empowering staff in terms of required skills and competencies.

  Future plans

  • Continue to work closely with line Ministries, external stakeholders both nationally and internationally.
  • Continue to participate in FTA negotiations to enhance multilateral trading system.

  Enforcements and Audits

Namibia Customs has joined hands with other law enforcement agencies like NATIS, MTI, NAMPOL, the South African Revenue Services, and regional initiatives such as Business Against Crime and Agri-Inspect to combat ‘pseudo exports', round-tripping, undervaluation and tax evasion especially of excisable products and second- hand vehicles. New procedures are being discussed in SACU forums, whilst a customs register-and-acquittal system has been introduced nationally.

Warehouses and Bonds

All bonded warehouses, clearing licenses and bond amounts have been reviewed and aligned with the Asycuda++ system.

Memorandums of understanding

A special committee has been established to review existing Memorandums of Understanding and to coordinate our efforts to negotiate further MOU'S with sister customs administrations and other stakeholders. Consistency with World Customs Organization models and regional instruments such as the Annexes to the SADC Trade Protocol must as far as possible be upheld.

IT/ Automation

Significant progress has been made on implementation of the new Customs system Asycuda++ (Automated System for Customs Data). The migration process represents 95 % of declarations captured electronically on the A++ system. The lodging of electronic entries by all commercial importers was a major success and has been supported by the industry. This is turn is essential if we are to position ourselves to ensure that Namibia Customs is able to take advantage of future developments in global electronic trading. As of now, the project has been implemented in 19 Customs offices and has processed more than 1 300, 000 declarations whilst producing trade and revenue statistics as well user defined reports for managers.

Revenue collections

Revenue collections have continued to decline as a result of the introduction of the new Revenue Sharing Formula. Revenue collected during the period under review amounts to N$4 206 746.00 billion (bn) compared to the previous year figure of N$ 3 035 612 000.00 (billion).

Border operations

The Customs officials at Hosea Kutako International Airport seized Cocaine with a total estimated street value of N$ 9 million dollars. Several joint operations were carried out during the year, which resulted in large seizures in the northeastern part of Namibia. The success of these and other operations are the result of close cooperation and exchange of intelligence between Customs, Police and neighboring Customs Administrations.

Training

The Training Section activities were hampered by budgetary constrain which resulted in most programmes as scheduled being cancelled. However, the Directorate benefited mostly from international training programmes offered by International Organizations. The training centre in collaboration with INWENT has successfully trained Customs officers, clearing and forwarding Agents on the Asycuda++ system as well as the procedures.

  Constraints

A lack of facilitative equipments inhibits the enforcement of proper controls that optimizes revenue collections and compliance.

  • Inadequate organizational structure influences the achievement of strategic goals while on the part of the importing trade increases cost, thereby impeding voluntary compliance in respect of regulatory procedures. In addition, it leads to major bottlenecks in the decision making e.g. dispute resolution.
  • The distinct lack of audit capacity remains a major constraint.
  • Inability to formulate, gazette and interpret laws, regulations and policies timorously influences the performance of the Directorate and achievement of desired goals.

Future plans

The Directorate plans to :

From the operational view point, the challenges ahead are listed as follows:

  • To review of the current organizational structure.
  • To accelerate the need for specialist skills in activities such as auditing and enforcement.
  • Continue to strike an appropriate balance between trade facilitation and facilitations of passengers and cargo movements whilst upholding law enforcement responsibilities aimed at ensuring integrity.
  • Continue exploitation of technological advances.
  • To complete the office automation strategy.
  • Undertake to provide corporate wide technical skills training to all customs staff at border posts to trouble shoot the system.
  • The Directorate plans to acquire x-ray machines, scanners to detect, monitor, and enforce legal provisions.
  • Implement new SACU Customs laws that will flow from the recently launched multilateral project to re – write the (SACU) Customs Act.
  • To train on all staff members to be fully effective in the required skills and competencies.