Successful launch of electronic tariff platform in Liberia
On 3 September 2021, the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) held an inauguration ceremony to announce the official launch of a national electronic tariff platform, implemented within the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for the Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme). At the invitation of the LRA Commissioner of Customs Mr. Saa Saamoi, the event was attended by the LRA Commissioner General Mr. Thomas Doe Nah, WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Liberia Ambassador Laurent Delahousse, ECOWAS Director for Customs Mr. Salifou Tiemtore, senior officials of the Ministry of Finance and a wide audience of stakeholders including the private sector.
In his opening remarks, Commissioner General Doe Nah thanked the WCO, the EU and the e-tariff technical team, stressing that the new platform would contribute to the automation and digitalization of processes at the LRA. He pointed out that the initiative would enhance the efficiency of the LRA in how it delivered services to stakeholders. He recalled the ongoing transformation of the revenue system in Liberia emphasizing that the e-tariff platform was an important achievement in the context of this process, contributing to modernization of services across the country.
Congratulating the LRA on this important achievement, Dr. Mikuriya expressed his appreciation of the fact that in Liberia the intention of having an e-tariff platform transformed into reality within a rather short time period. He stressed that the emergence of electronic tariff platforms was a major development, which would facilitate the implementation of the Harmonized System by Members and also support Regional Economic Communities in Africa in tariff-related work. He reiterated that the WCO would be delighted to continue this cooperation with the LRA and African members and partners, thanks to the sustained and comprehensive support from the European Union in the context of the HS-Africa Programme.
Ambassador Delahousse stressed that he was particularly satisfied to see the continued cooperation between the EU and the WCO, which was bringing good results. He recognized the key role of the LRA and the Ministry of Finance as organizations in charge of issues that were critical for the society. He underlined that the EU had excellent relations with the Ministry of Finance and the LRA and would be glad to continue providing the necessary support. He welcomed the streamlining of the tariff management, which would benefit all actors, in particular, those involved in international trade.
Following a brief demonstration of the new platform, other speakers stressed that the initiative would bring Liberia into a better alignment with international standards enshrined in the instruments of the WCO, the WTO and the AfCFTA. The launch event was preceded by a series of workshops benefiting Customs officials and private sector stakeholders. In conclusion of the ceremony, the electronic tariff platform was made fully operational and went live on the LRA web-site.