As a land-linked country, Zambia stands to gain significantly from the reduction of non-tariff barriers generally and specifically from measures to facilitate trade, especially cross-border trade, with African countries. Integrated border management currently enjoys strong focus on the trade facilitation agenda, with a range of modalities for the management of border procedures being adopted. These include one-stop-border posts and single window border management modalities.
The outcome of enhanced border management will be a reduction in the costs associated with the clearance and transit of goods at Zambia’s border posts. While Zambia has launched two one-stop border posts (Chirundu and Kasumbalesa); there is scope for further enhancing inter-agency cooperation in an integrated border management strategy.
The broad objective of this project is to contribute to the development of a strategy to enhance inter-agency cooperation to promote effective border management and so facilitate cross-border trade. More specifically, the following questions will be addressed:
- What lessons can be learnt from experiences elsewhere (African and international experience), regarding integrated border management and inter-agency cooperation?
- What lessons do Zambia’s one-stop border posts (Chirundu and Kasumbalesa) provide, with respect to inter-agency cooperation?
- What is necessary to facilitate effective inter-agency cooperation in border management (domestic policy, legal and institutional matters)?
A border post marks the jurisdictional boundary between two countries; where one country’s jurisdiction ends and that of the other begins. Several government agencies are involved in border post management to ensure smooth trade flows across jurisdictions. These agencies include revenue, customs and immigration authorities; police and national defense forces; Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Home Affairs, Public Works and Transport; the Bureaus of Standards. All of these agencies operate within their own mandates and legislative frameworks.
The large number of agencies operating at the border can increase trade transaction costs and cause delays if the process is poorly managed. Ineffective border management practices can also lead to an increase in criminal activities such as administrative corruption, rent-seeking and smuggling. Reforms and modernisation usually focus on coordinated border management, the optimal allocation of resources and the consolidation of information and data.
The World Customs Organisation (WCO) identifies best practice approaches in the area of border management and has assisted member states in the following areas:
- Review of outdated border procedures and replacement with policies and procedures based on international conventions and international best practices;
- Securing the supply chain by monitoring the movement of consignments;
- Implementing new tools (new technology and systems) to facilitate the movement of people and goods;
- The implementation of accreditation schemes for the legitimate movement of people and goods; and
- Development of institutional arrangements to support the new operational imperatives.
This project will assist in the development of policies and a legislative framework to facilitate the harmonization of the work of different agencies involved in border management for Zambia. During the first phase of the project a review of best practice will be done. Engagement with stakeholder agencies will provide important input for an assessment of Zambia’s experience with one-stop border posts, as well as the scope, options and pre-requisites for effective inter-agency cooperation in border management.
During phase two, the findings and recommendations for enhanced inter-agency cooperation will be deliberated at a Stakeholder Workshop, after which the Final Report will be prepared.