business

June 17, 2022

NEO SENOKO

2 min read

E-tariff platform to improve cross border trade

E-tariff platform to improve cross border trade

Acting LRA Commissioner General, Obed ’Nete

Story highlights

  • Platform will also attract investment
  • E-tariff is a mode used to attain perfect service delivery

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THE recent launch of the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA)’s e-tariff platform is expected to enhance cross border trade efficiency and quality of services as part of its customs modernisation programme.

Acting LRA Commissioner General, Obed ’Nete said the e-tariff platform would not only improve compliance of trade, but it would also reduce cross border trade delays and improve effectiveness of progress.

He said it would further improve Lesotho’s ranking in doing business due to the broad information technology facilitation and compliance improvement benefits of the project, attracting the requisite Foreign Direct Investment for the country.

“It is at such times that we need to harness digital technology and adopt rigorous approaches to service delivery,” Mr ’Nete said on Friday last week.

“The e-tariff is one of the many building blocks towards realising this ideal. It is also an indication of the usual saying that to every cloud, there is a silver lining.”

Trade and customs play an interlinked and critical role in creating conditions for economic development across frontiers.

Both the Ministry of Finance through the LRA and the Ministry of Trade and Industry have a huge responsibility to facilitate trade to make a real difference in people’s lives by helping to deliver jobs, growth and development that trade supports.

Deputy Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Trade Tšireletso Mojela said reducing red tape at the borders could have a significant benefit in terms of added export potential, increased foreign investment and greater access to a wider variety of goods for consumers.

“The e-tariff platform we are launching today translates to less human intervention at the border and therefore ease of trading across the border for the exporters and importers,” she said.

Ms Mojela pledged that the trade ministry would continue to work with national bodies such as the Lesotho Coordination Committee on Trade (LCCT) and the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTCFC) and other key stakeholders to support initiatives such as the e-tariff that was launched last week.

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The LRA is upbeat that the link between trade and customs is key to creating a favourable and positive environment for the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Government undertook accession to the (TFA) in 2016 and the LRA remains an integral part towards the implementation of the agreement.

The LRA said it was no longer an option but an imperative for all to coordinate and align implementation of initiatives in line with the agreement.

The E- Customs Tariff is spearheaded under the European Union-World Customs Organisation (EU-WCO) Programme for Harmonised system in Africa.  

The LRA said it appreciated the efforts of its partners as the revenue administrations globally were challenged by the times and the operating environment that continued to evolve rapidly.

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