Implementation of web based application for Certificate of Origin
Mauritius Revenue Authority

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
A Certificate of Origin (CoO) is a trade document which confers the originating status/nationality of a particular consignment in international trade and enables an importer to benefit from preferential tariff rates under a particular bilateral or multilateral free trade agreement (FTA). The document is used by Customs, exporters, importers and other regulatory government agencies for the clearance of goods. It is normally issued in a printed and prescribed form by designated authorities, which include Customs, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the ministry responsible for trade and commerce. Prior to the implementation of web-based application of CoO at the Customs Department of the Mauritius Revenue Authority (hereafter referred to as MRA Customs), the procedures (which we hereafter refer to as the “old system”) for applying for EUR1 Movement Certificate (for the European Union), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) certificates, were very cumbersome, time consuming, costly and out-dated. Moreover, the old system was heavily paper based and involved regular physical contact between Customs Officers processing CoOs and the applicants. Such a situation created the conditions for corruption to thrive. In addition, fraudulent activities such as counterfeiting and forgery of certificates were jeopardizing the reputation of Mauritius. In the old system, applications for EUR1, SADC and IOC certificates were made by declarants registered with the Mauritius Network Services (MNS) Ltd, the service provider for our Tradenet system. Declarants had to purchase blank certificates at the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), insert the details and submit to Customs together with the supporting documents. The declarant had to fill the application form and attach supporting documents, such as Export Bill of Entry, invoice, packing list, certificate of costing, attestation letters or import Bill of entry and any related documents. The applicant then submitted the whole set of documents at the Reception Desk of the Origin Unit at Customs whereupon a preliminary compliance check was carried out before an acknowledgement of receipt was printed. The application was then handed over to a provisional approver for processing and a final vetting was done by a senior Customs officer who then printed the certificate. Declarants had to queue up at the Customs Reception desk; wait for several hours and sometimes for days for the application to be processed. They had to return to their office to prepare a fresh application whenever amendments were required by Customs. The old system allowed a maximum of 50 applications to be processed daily by the 8 Customs officers working at the Origin Unit. Such a dysfunctional system was clearly against the philosophy of the MRA which is constantly innovating to improve the delivery of its services and aspiring to become a world class organisation respected for its professionalism. The new system implemented in January 2012 allowed declarants to make web based applications of different types of CoOs in a uniform and standardized way and enabled processing to be carried out efficiently and effectively by Customs. A major gap in the delivery of services was thus filled at MRA Customs.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The Mauritius Revenue Authority proposed the solution as we were fully aware of the difficulties faced by the traders applying for CoOs and the inherent weaknesses of the old system. Several reforms enhancements initiatives have been introduced since the implementation of e-CoO to the actual web-based system to make application and processing of CoOs more efficient and effective. As from 01 August 2006, application of Movement Certificate EUR1 went electronic; declarants could fill and submit their applications from their front-end system through the Customs Management System (CMS) via the MNS. The CMS is the electronic platform for the processing of declarations at Customs. As from 01 April 2010, traders could also apply for SADC and IOC CoO electronically in the same way as for EUR1. That eliminated the need for traders to buy blank certificates from the MCCI and fill it manually. Though the application procedures for CoOs were harmonized, the system was still cumbersome and heavily paper based. There was also a need to devise a new system whereby importers and foreign authorities could countercheck details of CoO issued by MRA Customs as proof of authenticity to improve trust of the foreign trading community and their Customs administrations. Let us consider an example to understand how the new system has solved the problems of traders and Customs. Aquarelle Clothing Limited is a big textile company exporting quality shirts to major markets in EU and the USA. The company is located at Grand Bois in the south of Mauritius 45 kms from Port-Louis. Mr. Ajagen Ramsamy, the customs agent of Aquarelle Clothing Ltd, needs a two-hour trip to reach the Customs Headquarters situated in Port Louis daily. He comes to the Reception Desk of the Origin Unit where his applications are processed and has to queue up for around 30 minutes. Then he spends around 30 minutes again if he has got a batch of 6 applications for CoO to make (about 5 minutes per application) since the officer at the Reception Desk face-vets his applications. The next step is the processing of the applications and Mr. Ramsamy has to wait for around 1 hour before he obtains the printed CoO. Almost half a working day of Mr. Ramsamy is spent in waiting for his application of CoO to be processed. The situation is worsened if his application is incomplete, not properly filled or documents are missing. In this case he has to go back to his office, do the necessary amendments and come back to Customs. The procedure was clearly cumbersome, time consuming, costly and inefficient. The web based application of CoO has facilitated the task of Mr. Ramsamy enormously. Now he makes the application on the web by logging onto the website of MNS (on http://www and applies for the CoO required online and attaches all the supporting documents. The application is received by Customs and viewed by the officer working at the Reception Desk of the Origin Unit who does a quick face-vetting of the application and acknowledges receipt thereof. The system automatically assigns a provisional approver who determines the originating status of the products by verifying details with regards to raw materials used and attached documents, based on the relevant trade protocols. If all the criteria of the specific protocol are satisfied, the provisional approver accepts the application upon which the system automatically allocates a final approver who carries out a final verification of the application and on approval the system automatically generates an identification number of the certificate. Then the final approver prints the approved CoO. If the application is rejected or has to be queried, Mr Ramasamy will receive an electronic message. All queries, either from Customs or from the applicant, are made on the system.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
To understand how the initiative is creative and innovative let us consider the example given at Question 2. Mr Ramsamy can make his applications and the necessary amendments 24/7 from his working place or from home provided that he has internet connection with a minimum speed of 512 kbps. The new system provides real-time updates on the status of the processing of applications to economic operators. Once approved, the CoO is uploaded on a prescribed website. Mr. John Blair, a London based client of Aquarelle Ltd may check the authenticity of CoOs by logging onto the website of MNS (on http://www He goes to the “View Certificate” menu, selects Movement Certificate EUR1 and inserts the export Customs declaration number (for instance 2013019497) to view all the critical data of the CoO details relating to the origin status of his consignment. Similarly, Mr. Mavuto Matole, based in South Africa can view details about his consignments of shirts imported from Aquarelle Ltd by conducting a search using the customs declaration number (e.g. 2013005012) which is available on the SADC CoO.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
An Action Plan was prepared to define the tasks/actions required to implement the web based application of CoOs initiative at MRA Customs, allocate roles and responsibilities for different tasks, define the timeframes for each task and identify the resource requirements for implementing the project. The key elements of the action plan are described below. A. KEY DEVELOPMENTS Two key phases of the project are as follows: 1. Application for SADC and IOC CoOs to be electronic in the same way as EUR1. The purpose was to harmonize the electronic submission and processing of all applications and to eliminate the need for exporters to purchase blanks certificates. This came into effect on the 1st April 2010. 2. Application for EUR1, SADC and IOC to be made on the web: To enable full paperless submission of applications with scanned copies of the original supporting documents as attachments. This was fully implemented on 1st January 2012. Critical data of the approved certificate of origin are posted on an approved website providing transparency and authenticity of the certificate. B. TIME SCHEDULE AND CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS The time schedule and chronology of events for the implementation of the initiative from the time of project conception to full implementation are as follows: a. Conceptualisation and dissemination of information about the project to relevant parties: • 04/02/2008: Customs informed MOFED and notified SADC Secretariat for the implementation of web based application of CoOs through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. b. Setting up of the legislative framework: • 07/07/2008: Draft proposed legislations prepared by MRA Customs and submitted to MOFED • 24/12/2009: MOFED approved the proposal and regulations were made accordingly • 01/04/2010: Entry into force of the legislations c. System development: • February 2008 - April 2008: Preparation of user requirement by MRA and submission to MNS • May 2009 - June 2011: Development of Application by MNS • 01/04/2010: Introduction of e-application for SADC and IOC CoOs d. Testing, training and implementation for web based application of CoOs: • June 2011 - August 2011: Procurement of blank CoOs with security features • July 2011 - September 2011: User Acceptance Testing at Customs • October 2011: Hardware and office set up, awareness campaigns, training to Customs staff and traders • November 2011- December 2011: Pilot test, parallel run and evaluation of the system • 01 January 2012: Full implementation of web based application of CoOs C. ASSIGNMENT OF RESPONSIBILITIES • Build up of user requirements: MRA Customs IT Team • Design and development of system and Upgrading of Customs Tradenet system: MNS • Draft legislation for the validation of web based application of CoO with supporting documents: MRA Customs Trade Facilitation and Customs Cooperation (TFCC) Section • Monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the initiative: MRA Customs IT/Origin Unit and the MNS. • Awareness Campaigns to the trading community: TFCC/Origin Unit/IT • Training of staff and declarants: MRA Customs IT /Origin Unit D. RESOURCES REQUIRED • Financial resources: MOFED approved a budget of US $17,000 for the design and development of the system by MNS and for the procurement of hardware. • Technical resources: MRA Customs and MNS were responsible for defining the user requirements in compliance with the related trade protocols. The MNS was responsible for system design, development and maintenance. • Human resources: o Internal: MRA Customs officers from IT, Origin Unit and TFCC o External: staff of the MNS • Equipment: New computers with dedicated printers for the receipt and processing of applications and printing of CoOs were required. The printers had to be configured by MNS and tested by IT & Origin Unit to match certificate requirements according to the specific trade protocols.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
MRA values its stakeholders, pays due attention to their requirements and takes into consideration their complaints and suggestions. The department also works in close collaboration and after consultation with all the stakeholders with a view to improving the delivery of service and facilitating trade. Implementation of web based application of CoO has necessitated the full involvement of all our stakeholders and in particular the ones mentioned below. • Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED): responsible for streamlining and aligning the relevant legislation to accommodate the web based submission of applications and processing of same at Customs. • Trading community: continuous communication and consultation were held with the trading community and this helped achieve buy-in to the project and their full support to the Customs initiative. • Mauritius Export Association (MEXA) and Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI): those two stakeholders representing exporters and the private sector respectively provided valuable input relating to the initiative and the cost and benefits involved. Their support was more concerned with enhancing the reputation and integrity of preferential certificate of origin issued by Mauritius in order to promote our exports. • Mauritius Network Services Ltd (MNS): involved in the design and development of the new module for web based application of CoO and upgrading our Tradenet system, based on the user requirements from Customs. The choice of MNS as the service provider was based on the fact that the company had proven expertise in designing the CMS for Mauritius based on the Singapore Tradenet system. It is responsible for the maintenance of the system, troubleshooting and performing any enhancements as required by Customs. The MNS has also ensured seamless communication between the applicants and Customs electronically.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Financial, technical and human resources had to be mobilised for the implementation of web based application for CoO. The MOFED, as the parent ministry of MRA, was fully supportive of the new project since it would contribute to the elimination of a non-tariff barrier, expedite clearance of goods, facilitate export and provide an efficient and effective service to economic operators. Therefore, funding of the project was virtually guaranteed. With respect to technical expertise for development of the project, human resources were readily available which resulted in substantial cost savings. A. Financial Resources MOFED has been the main source of funding for the project. A total investment of USD $17,000 was allocated for the design and development by MNS and for the procurement of necessary hardware. The parent ministry also catered for an annual budget for the procurement of pre-printed blank certificates embedded with security features like watermark and MRA logo visible only under ultra violet light. The cost of maintenance for the system was included in a single software maintenance agreement with the MNS, which is payable on a yearly basis. B. Technical resources Technical assistance was provided by the IT team of MRA Customs jointly with the MNS for defining user requirements in compliance with the related trade protocols. The MNS was allocated the task of system design, development and maintenance of the system. As such, MNS was responsible for hosting and maintenance of the ICT infrastructure and back-up. Customs staff especially those from the Origin Unit was fully involved in the system development and the User Acceptance Test (UAT) of the system. Their technical knowledge of rules of origin and the different protocols were taken into consideration for the design and validations to be carried out in the electronic platform. Expertise of the Government Printer was also required for the security features embedded in the CoO. Some of these include the printing of watermarks and ultra violet visibility restriction over the logo of MRA Customs. C. Human resources Human resource considerations were given high priority to ensure the smooth implementation and running of the new system. The questions of having the right staff in the right quantity were addressed to fulfil the job requirements for the reception, processing and approval of certificates of origin electronically. Training was provided to customs officers working at the Origin Unit as well as stakeholders dealing with CoOs to cope with the new procedures and system. Training was carried out at the IT Training Room of MRA Training Academy by the IT people involved in the implementation of the project in November 2011. The cost involved was insignificant but the benefits of the training were quite substantial.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The initiative launched by MRA was successful from all perspectives and five concrete outputs are described below: 1. Increase in output by 4 times The new system has improved output at MRA Customs by four folds. Prior to the implementation of web based application for CoO, Customs officers at the Origin Unit could process a maximum of 50 applications daily as there were a lot of paper works, the communication process between Customs and declarants was not smooth and the procedure was cumbersome. The new system has expedited the procedures for receiving and processing applications, making and responding to queries and issuing approved CoOs. 2. Zero complaints from stakeholders; Not a single complaint has been recorded at MRA Customs from stakeholders, local as well as international, following implementation of the new system. This substantiates that the system has met the expectations of the trading community. The level of physical contacts between Customs officers processing CoOs and declarants seeking authorization thereof has been reduced. There is also the automatic selection by the system for approvers for the application. Therefore, the initiative enhances the integrity of the processing system. 3. 100% improvement in dwell time The new system has eliminated the time spent by declarants for the following: • queuing up at the Customs Reception Desk (30 minutes) • face-vet of the application form and supportive documents (30 minutes) • waiting time for processing of application and printing of CoO (1 hour) The applicant saves on average 4 hours daily and the saved time can therefore be applied for more productive tasks. 4. Reduction in queries by 80% The number of queries from international authorities/ importers has been reduced by almost 80%. The web based application of CoOs ensured improved control on the administration of trade protocols with respect to issuance of certificates of origin. Compliance from the trading community has undergone a significant improvement due to automation and system validation checks. 5. 24/7 receipt of application and viewing of CoOs The new system has increased productivity of the private sector by enabling traders make applications for CoOs at any time and on any day of the week. Similarly, an importer or authority in a foreign country wishing to verify the authenticity of the CoO issued by MRA Customs can do so any time and from anyplace around the globe provided internet connection is available.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the strategy was carried by the IT team responsible for implementation of the initiative with the assistance of customs officers from the Origin Unit and the MNS. Constant feedback was shared with the two main stakeholders, the MCCI and MEXA, who have a key interest in the initiative. A Hotline Service and Suggestion Boxes were also put in place to allow traders express their concerns and report any failures of the system. Reporting tools were in-built into the system to allow greater access to reliable and accurate information. Audits trails for applications are available as an inbuilt feature of the system. New validation measures are embedded in the system such as the linkage of an application with its related export declaration. Provision has been made to introduce new Customs Procedure Codes (CPC), which is a system code designed to identify the type and description of transactions (import/export/transit) according to the relevant protocol. These CPC’s enable Customs to get more accurate and reliable statistics on transactions related to exports under preferential agreements. A specific system segment has been designed for the declaration and attachment of electronic documents related to the justification of the originating status. This allows effective monitoring of raw materials, as this information is required for the effective determination of preferential originating status. A database of manufacturers’/exporters’ profiles built from preliminary registration with Customs allows pre and post control audits to be carried out to ensure compliance with the requirements of the trade protocols. Stock management in the manual system was not effective as the sale of pre-numbered blank forms by MCCI was made to different buyers, without proper account of the number of forms used by the trading community. With the implementation of web based application of CoOs, Certificate Identification Numbers are automatically generated for each Trade Protocol by the system upon approval by MRA Customs and the latter is the only custodian of the blank forms printed by the Govt. Printing. MRA Customs can thus view the number of Certificates issued under a particular trade agreement over a specific period and for any individual exporter/manufacturer. Critical data elements of approved certificates are posted on MRA Customs web site and are accessible to Customs and importers for crosschecking the validity and genuineness of certificates.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The main obstacles in the implementation of web based application of CoOs at MRA Customs together with the strategies used to address those obstacles are listed below: 1. Resistance from some of our trading partners (freight forwarding agents, customs agents): This stemmed from fear of the unknown and that the new system might jeopardize their interests. To overcome those fears, Customs organized several consultative sessions to build a strong partnership and devise an effective communication process for building trust among all stakeholders. That was reinforced by awareness campaigns highlighting the benefits of the new system in terms of reduced cost of transaction and dwell time. 2. Lack of appropriate benchmarks: Being the pioneer in African region, the initiative was challenging since lack of appropriate benchmark meant that we did not have a fall back solution should the proposed system fail or encounter any serious setbacks. However, strict compliance to the different trade protocols served as guidelines for the software requirement and development. Moreover, the Sub-Committee on Customs Cooperation (SCCC) which is the Customs organ, under the SADC FTA, strongly supported the initiative. 3. Fear of loss of jobs for customs agents: Customs agents of textile manufacturing sector demonstrated scepticism on impact of the initiative as the anticipated reduction in their interaction with Customs would make them redundant. However, during the consultation process with the trading community that issue was addressed and customs agents were reassured that their role continues to be important which allayed the fear for any redundancy. 4. Coping with automation at MRA Customs: The new system required customs officers to shift from paper-based operations to electronic processing. To allow customs officers to cope with the new system properly, the requisite IT skills and training was provided to them.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The web based application of CoO not only benefits the department but it provides a lot of tangible benefits to the local as well as international trading community. While most of these benefits have already been mentioned in answer to previous questions, the following key benefits are worth mentioning: a. Cost of doing business: There has been considerable reduction in the cost of transacting with Customs in respect of CoOs. The savings made by the trading community from buying forms from MCCI can be estimated to around $25,000 per year (assuming 50,000 sets of forms are sold @ 15 MUR per set). Photocopying of documents was no longer required resulting in further cost savings. The cost incurred in travelling to the Customs office again in case of amendments or submission of applications anew by traders has been eliminated. If we assume that previously the traders had to travel 5 times a week but now travel only twice a week, the associated savings in fuel and travelling expenses per company can be around $5,000 per year. b. Dematerialisation of documents: Complex, cumbersome and paper based procedures have been replaced by an automated system based processing of applications for CoOs thereby enhancing trade facilitation. c. Dwell time: Unproductive time of stakeholders spent in queuing up and waiting for the face-vetting of the application at the Customs Reception Desk and thereafter for receipt of the approval and printed CoO has been eliminated d. Right first time: There was a considerable reduction in the number of rejected applications as a result of the introduction of an integrated system which ensured that reliable information was being transmitted to Customs for processing and approval. e. Transparency and reliability: The enhanced veracity and reliability of the CoOs issued by MRA Customs is reflected by a reduction in number of queries and verifications by almost 80%. As a consequence, the level of compliance and perception of the integrity of Mauritius exports was raised in international markets. This was also reflected by reduction in verification queries from international regulatory bodies and importers. f. Risk management and audit: Reliable and easy access to information enabled Customs to conduct efficient risk assessment and pre/post control audits, thereby better ensuring compliance with the preferential rules origin. g. Compliance with international instruments: This initiative was also closely aligned with the Revised Kyoto Convention; WCO Safe Framework of Standards; and the SADC protocol on trade insofar as it increased collaboration with other stakeholders, improved risk management capabilities; and increased the use of Information technology. h. Automation: The use of web technology enabled the Mauritian trading community to electronically send their applications within seconds and to be provided with the status of their applications in real-time. It has enhanced flexibility since traders could access the application from any remote location; and at a time convenient to them. There is enhanced communication between Customs officers and traders applying for CoOs. Queries and replies can be made electronically via emails or by phone and the necessary amendments made online without the trader having to come physically at the Customs Headquarters. i. Trade promotion: It has also been observed that Mauritius exports under preferential trade protocols have progressively increased. This is due to the implementation of the new system which has eliminated lengthy customs procedures increasingly considered as non-tariff barriers. j. User friendly system: No complaint was recorded by Customs in connection with the implementation of this new system. No resubmission of a fresh application is needed in case of minor amendments, since traders could send requests for amendments electronically from their premises and they can obtain updates and approval within minutes from Customs. There is no longer any need to interact physically with customs or call in at a Customs office. k. Voluntary compliance: The improved delivery of service positively impacted on the economic operators by promoting voluntary compliance. Traders benefit from advance rulings on tariff and origin which result in low/zero error in applications. l. Physical control over blank certificates by Customs: There is enhanced control over CoOs issued. Previously, the MCCI was selling serially numbered blank certificates to exporters over which customs had no control. With the new system, the serial number is provided by Customs and therefore we have more control. This mitigates the risks of frauds. m. E-filing: The system has enabled the electronic archiving of documents as required under different trade protocols for a specified period of time. This has resulted in savings in storage space and costs.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
Sustainability is guaranteed as all customs officers have been trained in the operation of the system and future development required for other prospective protocols have been catered for. The system has been developed using the “Solaris” operating system (OS) which is the most up to date OS available while the database and application server are Oracle 11g and Oracle 10g. The web based application of CoO can easily sustain developments in the software that are currently been used. Since July 2009, the CMS, which is the TradeNet system used at MRA, has been upgraded and its reliability, speed and adaptability have been improved. It enables the reception of attached documents and graphical user interface and provides a more powerful tool for data processing, reporting and decision making. The enhanced CMS now enables the web based application of CoO and its electronic processing at Customs. The CMS is also regularly updated and upgraded to incorporate developments in technology, provide added features that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our processing system. The initiative is acting as an important milestone for the most ambitious project at MRA Customs which is the web based submission of any declarations at Customs. Currently, customs agents submit their declarations at Customs from their front-end system available only in their office through our TradeNet system – the CMS. The web based system would allow customs agents to lodge their declarations from anywhere on a 24/7 basis through internet connection. The new system is considered as 100% paperless and has been extended to the Turkey-Mauritius Free Trade Agreement (TMFTA) in 2013 and will be extended to other preferential agreements in the near future. As part of the on-going Customs modernization strategy, the web based application of CoOs has laid the foundation for the introduction of a paperless customs environment. In 2012, this measure was extended to trade related documents for customs import/export/transit declarations. Mauritius is very keen to provide assistance to other customs administration in the region to implement the web based application of CoO. The project is transferable as it has been developed in an operating system (OS) - “Solaris” that is compatible with other OS such UNIX and Ubuntu commonly used in customs administration in the region. Replication of the initiative in other countries is also high on the agenda of the WCO ESA Regional Strategic plan. Moreover, there is high demand from other customs administration in the region for our expertise which we are willing to provide free of charge to foster Customs to Customs partnership. The initiative has been promoted at the level of the SADC Sub Committee on Customs Cooperation (SCCC) and frequent study tours are carried out in Mauritius to learn about the functioning of our CoO processing model. In fact MRA Customs is considered as a model for the reforms and modernization by many African countries. This is evidenced by Mauritius being consistently ranked first in the Trading Across Borders indicator for the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business for the last five years in the African region.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
The implementation of the web based application for CoOs has been a challenging experience for our administration and we have learned the following lessons from the initiative: a. Political will is imperative to ensure that national interest prevails over other sectorial interest. The project received important support from MOFED, the parent ministry, and hence the vested interests of some economic operators against the implementation of the project were mitigated. Without the intervention of the MOFED, the project implementation could have been delayed by 2-3 years. b. Customs to Business Partnership is critical for the successful implementation of the programme. The partnership of MRA with MNS was vital for the development and implementation of the project. Similarly the consultation process with the private sector and all our stakeholders which was crucial to create awareness and acceptability. It was also necessary to provide training for the proper submission of attached documents electronically. c. The project must be developed in a compatible system to allow transferability. The operating system (OS) for the web based application of CoO at MRA is Solaris. This is the most up to date and as well as most secure system available. However, the initiative is also compatible with other OS such as UNIX and Ubuntu commonly used in customs administration in the region. d. Pilot test and parallel run of the system are critical during the implementation phase. During the post implementation review any problems that arise, at Customs or at the traders’ end, are taken into consideration in further enhancing the system. This assures an error free and smooth functioning system at the time of full implementation. Moreover, it is important to have a contingency plan in case of system failure. e. It is important to obtain the right expertise for the development and implementation of the initiative. The MNS has been responsible for the development of a series of projects for the Customs Department and therefore it had the right expertise for the implementation of the initiative. Customs staffs involved have provided appropriate system specifications and descriptions and their involvement in the design of the system ensured that customs-specific user requirements were successfully incorporated. f. Appropriate legislative changes have to be made. An enabling legal framework is important to give effect to any laudable initiative. This ensures full compliance with the new system in place by all the stakeholders. g. Local internet service providers must upgrade bandwidth capacity to enable a rapid submission of attached documents and the application to be received at Customs in real time. The cost of internet should not nullify the benefit from reduced cost and dwell time. h. The successful implementation of the initiative must act as catalyst for implementing other modernization programmes. The concept was, one year later, extended to the processing of customs declarations at MRA whereby agents, importers and exporters submit paperless customs declarations and supporting trade documents electronically. This has brought massive reduction in transaction costs and enhanced processing times to a greater range of customs processes.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Mauritius Revenue Authority
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Sudhamo Lal
Title:   Director General  
Telephone/ Fax:   +230 2075941/+2302076041
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Ehram Court,Cnr Mgr.Gonin & Sir Virgil Naz Streets
Postal Code:   Not applicable
City:   Port-Louis
State/Province:   Port-Louis

          Go Back

Print friendly Page