Electronic tariff (e-tariff) platforms are gathering momentum across the world and there is a growing recognition that these instruments offer massive benefits both for customs and trade (*).
E-tariff platforms are designed to integrate all relevant information on regulatory measures applied to international trade transactions in one place for online consultation by all interested parties.
Realizing the benefits that such electronic tools can offer and in line with its modernization strategy, the Eswatini Revenue Authority (SRA) has moved to establish a comprehensive e-tariff platform, with the support of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) under the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for Harmonised Systems (HS) in Africa, funded by the European Union.
The official start of the project was announced at the kick-off meeting, held on the 3rd of June in an online format, with the participation of representatives of the SRA, the WCO and a South African private company specialized in electronic tools for customs.
In his opening remarks, Dumisani Masilela, commissioner general of the SRA welcomed the support from the WCO and expressed the commitment of his administration to set up a modern platform through which stakeholders could be informed and kept up to date on the policies and practices in place.
He expressed confidence that the project will contribute to the timely and efficient implementation of the HS, avoid revenue loss, and support the ongoing efforts of Eswatini to meet the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement commitments.
In her congratulatory remarks, the deputy director for Capacity Building at the WCO, Brendah Mundia conveyed the organisation's appreciation for SRA’s keen interest to implement this important project.
She reaffirmed the WCOs commitment to provide technical support and to assure the successful implementation of this important project
In order to give a comprehensive and efficient user experience to trade operators in Eswatini, the e-tariff platform will seek to include an interactive section on advance rulings to allow the submission of paperless online applications for rulings. A multidisciplinary team at the SRA has been assigned to coordinate this project and will ensure close collaboration with the Eswatini National Trade Facilitation Committee.
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(*) This report was initially published on the 11th of June. The WCO, however, requested that we publish this version of events.