Ecorys successfully completes customs revamp for Liberian Revenue Authority

13 August 2018 3 min. read

Following the completion of a project to revamp and restore the operations at Liberia’s Customs Department, leading European consultancy Ecorys has received plaudits from the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) for the quality of its support, which has already brought about a revenue increase of $1 million.

As part of its efforts to promote international trade with emerging markets, the European Union (EU) appointed Ecorys to help improve the customs infrastructure in Liberia, both in terms of structure as well in terms of the skill and capacity of its personnel. The project has now come to its conclusion, and appears to have been a tremendous success.

Ecorys reportedly implemented 100 outputs in total, broadly categorised under three components. The first component involved support and improvements for the LRA headquarters, while the second component worked with the authority’s Compliance and Enforcement division and the.

Both components essentially focused on capacity building through training programmes, and were enhanced with the establishment of a Customs Modernisation Unit. The third component, meanwhile, supported the ports across urban and rural areas through the creation of a Central Assessment Unit.

Ecorys successfully completes customs revamp for Liberian Revenue AuthorityOther functions carried out by the firm include sowing the seeds for a Centre of Excellence, the establishment of anti-smuggling operations, and the training of nearly 350 people employed at the LRA. The collaborative project was reportedly executed in an atmosphere of mutual understanding, and has successfully pushed domestic revenues up by more than $1 million.

 Commenting on the project, officer-in-charge at Ecorys T. King-Sackie said, “Today, the LRA is very excited for this milestone accomplishment which has substantially improved our mode of doing business, standardized our procedures with the overarching goal of improving Trade Facilitation a major priority of the Government of Liberia.”

The Commissioner of Customs at the LRA, Saa Samoi added, “We are very grateful to the project team of Ecorys, who have helped our Customs administration over the last two years to identify elements of fraud in Customs and weaknesses in the existing legislations which have the potential to undermine the authority of Customs to collect the needed revenue and manage our borders with the required efficiency.”

“This message of overall progress is reflected in the revenue collection figures, which through the life of the project grew by one million per year - highly impressive in a context where other global trade has decreased,” noted the Team Leader at Ecorys Peter Bennett.

This is not the first time that Ecorys has worked on a European-funded project in Africa. Late last year, the firm worked under commission from Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to train 640 beekepers in Zambia. Earlier this year, Ecorys was appointed to support the Nigerian government with the development of an Automotive Industrial Park.