THE Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) is working to improve its customs systems and enhance efficiency at the ports of entry.
The move which is poised to positively impact on the country’s investment climate is being implemented through the second phase of LRA’s Customs Modernisation Programme (CMP II).
The first phase of CMP was introduced in 2012. The programme, which among others, included automation of border declaring systems and procedures, eventually improved cross border trade for Lesotho despite a number of teething problems.
Owing to the introduction of CMP, Lesotho’s the global rankings on the ease of cross border trade jumped from over 100 to the 30’s. The latest World Bank Doing Business Index ranks Lesotho 38th out of 189 countries on the efficiency of its cross-border systems as a factor to business but the LRA says it has eyed improving that ranking into the 20’s through (CMP II).
Addressing the media this week, the Deputy Commissioner customs (central), Tseko Nyesemane, said the second phase of the programme would build on the progress made by the previous phase. He said the programme comes with a number of projects which, when completed, will collectively bring about the desired outcome.
These include the ASYCUDAWorld enhancement project, the ASYCUDAWorld redundancy project, Lesotho national single window project and the LRA and SARS connectivity project among others.
“As previously indicated that we have a client-oriented approach, these measures we are taking are meant to ensure that our service delivery to the customers are improved significantly.” Mr Nyesemane said.
“The benefit expected is for customers to take a shorter time at the border and that their costs of cross border trade go down significantly.”
He said it is critical for the country to have a higher rank on cross border trade since it will enhance the country’s ability to attract investors.
The programme is financed by government of Lesotho and development partners.