The following report serve as customs reform strategy for the Georgian Revenue Service (RS), laying down recommendations according to priorities and the possible outcomes of each recommendation. The roles and responsibilities of RS and donor organizations are defined regarding to each recommended action. EPI will plan its activities in the area of customs according to the recommendations provided in this report.
This report addresses the need for the RS to create an enabling environment necessary to allow reforms to be undertaken and remain sustainable.
Some of the actions required for such an environment include:
- A strategic planning process including the establishment of key performance indicators to ensure management accountability;
- A change management process including a project control office to coordinate technical assistance inputs from all donors and to implement mechanisms for stakeholder consultation and participation in reforms.
- Human institutional capacity development (HICD) to correct fundamental weaknesses in human resource management and development. An HICD project would:
- Develop a new organizational structure serving the strategic needs and objectives of Georgian Customs consistent with international best practices;
- Draft clear job descriptions for all positions;
- Undertake a pay survey and ensure staff receive adequate remuneration;
- Ensure incentive/bonus schemes that actually motivate staff;
- Implement a staff performance appraisal/measurement scheme with links to staff promotion, rotation and career path;
- Ensure merit-based staff recruitment promotion; and,
- Develop a comprehensive training strategy for both staff and stakeholders.
- An anti-corruption strategy for both RS staff and stakeholders.
The report proposes detailed strategies for undertaking the following two major reform programs outlined below.
NATIONAL TRADE FACILITATION PROGRAM
It is recommended that the USAID Economic Prosperity Initiative (EPI) support hosting a regional WTO Trade Facilitation Seminar in Georgia. The outcomes of this seminar would be a national trade facilitation agenda and national implementing committee. This report provides a comprehensive list of trade facilitation measures, which would further enhance Georgia‟s existing initiatives.
CUSTOMS REFORM AND MODERNIZATION PROGRAM
It is also recommended that technical assistance be provided to the following priority areas:
- Documenting and benchmarking customs legislation, regulations and procedures against and acceding to the Revised Kyoto Convention
- Preparing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) manuals for staff and stakeholders
- Strengthening post-clearance audit
- Strengthening customs valuation and dispute resolution mechanisms
- Introducing an authorized economic operator (AEO) regime to strengthen supply chain security and export value chains
- Strengthening risk management
- Supporting decision making related to remaining with ASYCUDA or implementing another commercially available customs software suite which supports a single window platform
- Strengthening customs enforcement and investigations capabilities
- Improving the functionality of customs infrastructure
Various matrices describe and justify each proposed area of reform, as well as the specific
deliverables and the estimated type, duration and timing of technical assistance.