Over the past years the Eswatini Revenue Authority (SRA) has been working towards the implementation of a national Advance ruling (AR) system, according to the World Customs Organization (WCO). These vigorous efforts of the SRA have been supported by the WCO in the context of numerous activities, from awareness-raising seminars all the way to the actual drafting of the legislative framework for the proper implementation of AR.
With a view to following up on the progress achieved so far and accelerating the process in Eswatini, an online workshop was held on 14 July jointly by the SRA and the WCO, in the context of the EU-WCO HS-Africa Programme. The workshop was attended by 12 managers and senior specialists of the SRA as well WCO experts who had participated in previous activities for Eswatini.
Speaking on behalf of the SRA, Mrs. Gugu T Dlamini-Zwane emphasised the importance her administration placed on the full implementation of a modern and comprehensive system of AR, pointing out that a fully-fledged system would be up and running in Eswatini within the coming months.
According to the self-assessment the SRA conducted in advance of the workshop, Eswatini has already started issuing ARs to a large extent in line with the WCO Recommendation on the introduction of programmes for binding pre-entry classification information (1996). Subject to a few changes, Eswatini would very soon be in a position to accept the Recommendation and notify the WCO to that effect, which would be the first step in acknowledging the efforts made by Eswatini to align its practices with international standards concerning AR.
The EU-WCO HS-Africa Programme has pledged to provide the required support to the SRA to complete the implementation of the AR system in Eswatini as well as to build the capacity of the SRA officers.
Story by: Riaan de Lange