The Customs Department of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has assigned officers at the Salala Checkpoint in Bong County as part of measures to boost customs enforcement in a bid to facilitate legitimate trade and collect lawful revenues.
The LRA Customs officers will work along with members of the joint security assigned at the checkpoint in carrying out monitoring, verification of importation documents, inspection, and assessment of goods smuggled via the route. The deployment of the LRA Customs officers at the Salala Checkpoint constitutes the first assignment of officers to be assigned at an inland security post.
They will be rotated regularly as part of routine tactical and security measures. Salala Checkpoint is strategically situated along the Gbarnga-Monrovia Highway and it is a major corridor regularly used for the movement of goods and people from the north-eastern region of Liberia including neighboring Guinea and Ivory Coast to the capital Monrovia.
Speaking during a ceremony marking the deployment of the LRA Customs officers in Salala, Bong County, LRA Assistant Commissioner for Enforcement and Compliance, Attorney D. Blamo Kofa, said the activity is in line with the Authority’s ongoing security program in ensuring coordinated border management and countering the growing wave of smuggling of commodities into the commerce of the country, thereby causing significant revenue loss to the Government of Liberia.
“The LRA has a very huge task of collecting domestic revenues for the fiscal year 2022, and part of the strategy to help raise the required revenues is by curtailing smuggling and the assignment of our officers here seeks to do just that,” he noted.
He called on importers and businesses involved with external trade to be compliant and abandon the attitude of smuggling as those caught will be dealt with according to the laws of Liberia.
He cautioned the members of the joint security to build strong partnership in executing their respective roles in line with the core ethics and exhibit professionalism. The LRA Customs officers are not here to duplicate your functions, but to cross check importation documents, goods and items in accordance with customs functions, he said.
Speaking earlier, Col. Danny B. Sylee, Director for Operations at the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), called on the joint security team to operate under the full guidance of collaboration, cooperation and coordination in executing their mandates in fostering information sharing.
“We are all working under the same Liberian government, but within separate roles. So, I ask you to work in the best interest of our country and protect the image of Liberia,” he said.
He reminded the officers to ensure the protection of taxes as the government strives to collect more revenues to deliver the needed social services and accelerate the growth of the nation.