The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has commenced the deployment this year of a platform for customs intelligence that enables them to share information among customs administrations throughout the world, an LRA release has announced.
In a message delivered at an program commemorating the 67th International Customs Day, Saa Saamoi, Commissioner of Customs duty complaisance, said the intelligent platform will carry on cargo tracking vessels of the potential security threat to supply chain or cargo related to fraud which undermines stable revenue collection.
According to the release, this year’s celebration, which was held under the theme, “transforming frontiers into smart borders for seamless trade, travel, and transport” called for the effective ope-rationalization of SMART border which requires the cooperation of other agencies in the country.
They also play a role in trade facilitation to join the LRA efforts for the simplification, standardization, and harmonization of the border, thereby collaborating with the private sector in the framework of customs to trade partnership.
“Smart border is a call to duty for our customs administration to partner with other government agencies and economic operators of the private sector in pursuing the common objective of enhancing supply – chain security and efficiency based on the mutual trust and transparency,” said Commissioner Saamoi.
He explained that the customs department of the Liberia Revenue Authority has already introduced a compliant trader program for over 30 businesses in Liberia, where he said Commissioner General Doe Nah has embarked on a mission to build a program of mutual trust and transparency between trade and customs in the framework of authorized economic operators.
He added that a new security program in customs aimed at building the capabilities of customs to effectively combat smuggling, prevent commercial fraud and illicit trade, has begun by the LRA.
According to Commissioner Saa Saamoi, the World Customs Organization (WCO), which deals with customs matters and the development of international conventions, instruments, and tools on topics such as commodity classification, valuation, rules of origin, collection of customs revenue, supply chain security, international trade facilitation, customs enforcement activities and among others.
He said that as the world has already emerged into a global village with greater economic interdependence and the common threat to global security, the need for trade facilitation to move goods faster across borders and at the same time provide security of the international supply chain is the real call to duty for customs administrations.
“Smart border is a direct response to the emerging complexities in trade across borders, including the unprecedented volume of transactions, security of transit and e-commerce,” he said.
However, LRA Commissioner General, Thomas Doe Nah cautioned customs authorities to desist from any unlawful acts in the discharge of their duty. “I urge you to collect lawful revenue from the traders,” he said, adding, “If you were told to collect 10%, the 10% should be collected, not less or more.”
Mr. Nah then called for collaboration with other agencies for smooth operations and warned against any act of smuggling, trafficking of drugs and allowing expired goods in the country.
“Report all non–customs related issues to the relevant authorities and treat people fair, but be vigilant in doing your job,” he said.
The celebration began with a parade on the main street of Ganta, and continued with an indoor program and climaxed with sporting activities, involving the joint security, customs brokers and the LRA staff.