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Could a well-designed customs reforms remove the trade-off between revenue collection and trade facilitation?

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  • Raballand, Gael
  • Marteau, Jean-François
  • Mjekiqi, Edmond
  • Cantens, Thomas

Abstract

This paper is based on first-hand experience from Customs reforms in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) and presents unpublished data on the impact of Customs reforms on revenues, trade facilitation, private sector operators and frontline Customs officials’ behaviors in Africa. Customs agencies are usually one of the key revenue collection agencies in Africa. Customs officials usually consider trade facilitation measures as a threat for revenue collection and strive to increase control over private sector operators through systematic inspections and checkpoints in order to increase public revenues (in theory). In reality, imports undervaluation remains high as well as smuggling and transit diversion, which result in endemic corruption and increased clearance time and uncertainty. Because many issues lie in the internal weaknesses of Customs agencies, a revised approach to Customs reforms is needed to ensure, first, internal control of the organization and then gradually relax controls on operators and ensure formal trade facilitation. Without internal control and knowledge of the magnitude of the malpractices in most Customs agencies in Africa, private sector differentiation can not happen and therefore formal trade facilitation would remain inexistent, while results in terms of revenue collection will probably be below what can be achieved. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 with number 28.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec09:28

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Related research

Keywords: Customs; trade facilitation; Nigeria; Cameroon; public sector reform;

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  1. Johnson, Noel, 2001. "Committing to civil service reform : the performance of pre-shipment inspection under different institutional regimes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2594, The World Bank.
  2. Antoine Faure-Grimaud & Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 2003. "Collusion, Delegation and Supervision with Soft Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 253-279.
  3. Anne-Marie GEOURJON & Bertrand LAPORTE, 2004. "Risk Management for Targeting Customs Controls in Developing Countries: A Risky Venture for Revenue Performance?," Working Papers 200416, CERDI.
  4. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, J. David, 2001. "An Introduction to the Economics of Information: Incentives and Contracts," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199243273, September.
  5. Dean Yang, 2008. "Integrity for Hire: An Analysis of a Widespread Customs Reform," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 25-57, 02.
  6. Barbone, Luca & Das-Gupta, Arindam & De Wulf, Luc & Hansson, Anna, 1999. "Reforming tax systems - the World Bank record in the 1990s," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2237, The World Bank.
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