2013/14 challenging and important year
She said, “Key global and regional developments have had a profound impact on the manner in which the Customs Union and in particular, its Membership approached the continued implementation of the SACU Work Programme.”
In 2007, the Customs Union begun laying the foundation for its Work Programme.
Amongst the five initiatives undertaken, the Customs Union agreed to a one stop border post arrangement, joint border controls, electronic data interchange, capacity building and the use of a single administrative document.
According to Elago, further progress was made with regards to the implementation of a SACU-WCO Customs Development Programme. “The SACU regional Customs-to-Business Forum was launched in November 2013, thus enabling a platform to facilitate dialogue and interactions with the public sector, specifically the revenue authorities and the business community in the SACU region.”
Former Minister of Finance and current Premier Hon. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila in her previous capacity as Chairperson of SACU Council of Ministers said at the time, “The SACU Work Programme remains our priority in pursuit of a collective effort to deepen financial integration and the development of the regional industrial development policy is an overarching objective of the programme. Work to support cross-border value chains.”
On the issue of the contentious revenue sharing formula, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila remarked, “During the period under review, work was in progress in reviewing the current sharing formula to align the new revenue with the new SACU vision.”
Added Elago, “I am anticipating that the 2014/15 financial year will pave the way for a renewed focus on the vision and operations of the oldest Customs Union in the world and the benefits it brings about not only for its individual members but also for the region as a whole.”