A draft customs proclamation aimed at establishing a modern legal customs framework which encourages development of manufacturing industries and investment has been proposed to the House of People’s Representatives.
The draft proclamation replacing the current 622/2001 customs proclamation is expected to provide effective and speedy service in the facilities of the authority and give the Director General of the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) more power.
The new proclamation will also introduce structural adjustments in the functions of the authority and its human resource management. It also ensures the ‘free movement of goods for those organizations identified as Authorized Economic Operators (AEO), eases Post Clearance Audits (PCA), and decentralizes the activity of the authority.
The amendment introduces new ways in which customs officers can go to inspect the place where the goods are. Such practice saves costs and time and will help to further fuel the booming economic achievements of the country reads the clarification of the proclamation.
The proposed proclamation also gives the director general of ERCA the mandate not to institute criminal charges based on various conditions. The draft proclamation states that if the alleged offender cannot follow the proceedings due to old age or chronic disease, if it is believed that the proceeding of the case in court will harm national interest or international relations, if instituting proceedings may cause an unbalanced side effect or if the charge has not been instituted in time and thus has lost its relevance the director general may decide that criminal charges not be instituted.
The proclamation will also help to bridge gaps observed in the customs proclamation the country has been using over the last five years. The need for a more modern customs legal framework to support development of industries and investment has made the introduction of the new proclamation necessary.
The draft proclamation was referred to the Budget and Finance Affairs, and Law and Administrative Affairs Standing committees for further discussion.