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Ethiopian Customs to Automate Customs Valuation System

The Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority is in the process of automating its customs valuation system. The new system will allow the customs system in Ethiopia to transition to a transaction cost system as per the World Trade Organization Agreement in Customs Valuation from a minimum price setting system.

The project is being undertaken by the Center for Development of Advanced Computing, an Indian Software company for 3.5 million birr. ERCA signed an agreement with the company in September of 2011.

Another Indian organization, the Central Board of Excise and Customs, is acting as a consultant for the project at no cost to ERCA according to Fekadu Bekele, Director of Customs Valuation at the customs authority.

The new system will depend on invoices provided by importers as opposed to the existing database for the minimum prices of an estimated 7.5 million goods. The automated system is expected to eliminate undercharging by the customs authority but may potentially open the door for corruption as the price data will only be accessible to ERCA officials.  

It is expected that directive to govern the new system will enforce accountability according to an expert at the Customs Valuation Directorate.

The new system is expected to be ready for trial in six months allowing ERCA to receive up-to-date price information for every sector eliminating problems associated with out dated prices.

ERCA hopes that the new system will help the authority achieve its target revenue of 70 billion birr with 22 billion planned to come from customs.

Source: Addis Fortune