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GRA Operations with European Partners beyond expectation

Oct 25, 2019, 10:18 AM | Article By: Alhagie Mbye, The Point Europe Correspondent

(Monday 21 October 2019 Issue)

 European Port Authorities and other stakeholders dealing with Banjul have recently emphasized that The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) with its ‘’operational methods is functioning beyond expectation’‘ despite the anxiety of an economic slow-down and interruption affecting developing countries’ economies.

This assessment arose as a result of the imposition of exceptional tariffs and other forms of taxes as well as superfluous trade competition between world economic powers,

Additionally, unlike other countries across the continent vis-à-vis suspicions and doubts regarding ‘‘restriction, constraints and limits’’, The Gambia is also not ‘‘hindered both diplomatically and officially by other world powers’‘.

The respectable Antwerp Port Authority for instance has confirmed to The Point that as far as they were concerned, there are no restrictions against The Gambia and its operations.

 Ann De Smet, Key Account Manager Shipping Lines KR/SHL, Havenbedrijf Antwerpen/Antwerp Port Authority, Belgium, responding to our inquiries noted that ‘‘as far as we know, for the moment, there are no restrictions’.’

 Concerning advanced technology, records seen by this correspondent equally described The Gambia, as ‘‘model for other African countries in terms of customs modernization. The country is also currently working in ‘‘migrating from Asycuda ++ to Asycuda World’‘, a more advanced system for customs automated data thus dismissing decriers suggesting the contrary.

 Already The Gambia also acceded to the ‘‘Harmonize’’ system in Brussels, being 158th member and thus a new scanner procured on a BOT arrangement costing 23 million dollars with a Ghanaian company called Nick scanners is secured. It has been confirmed that operations has already begun and found to be ‘‘reassuring’’.

 The ‘‘Time release studies project’’ that seeks to address clearance delays that involved all stakeholders is also commended and that despite reported hindrances including ‘‘inadequate handling equipment’’, it is also established that containers from Europe are reaching The Gambia in ‘‘full force’’.

 The Point also learnt that current volume of transit has also increased by 50% uplifting the country as the hub for the sub region and full cooperation between the Senegalese customs is paramount in accordance with the bilateral agreements already signed. It is therefore unnecessary to ‘‘impede and harass’’ traders passing through both countries.

 The GRA is also commended for ‘‘fulfilling its contractual targets” with The Gambia government and that both the IMF and World Bank are ‘‘impressed’’. Similarly, the country’s acceding to the Revised Kyoto Convention is as well paramount thus allowing it a leverage.