March 18, 2024

SADC boosts support towards Namibia in developing a CBM National Strategy

The Southern African Development Community (SADC), in collaboration with the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) convened a workshop in Windhoek, Namibia from 29th February 2024 -1st March 2024 to validate the Draft Coordinated Border Management (CBM) National Strategy. 

The Namibia CBM National Strategy demands a coordinated approach by border control agencies in seeking greater efficiencies in managing the flow of legitimate trade and commerce, while satisfying compliance requirements and national security interests.

The Strategy will assist Namibia in simplifying and harmonising trade documentation and border procedures, as well as enhancing the predictability of control procedures based on risk management of border agencies.

In her opening remarks, Ms Victoria Weyulu, Senior Manager, Trade Facilitation at NamRA, highlighted that the CBM Strategy will assist in strengthening coordination both at national and regional levels thereby contributing to the implementation of measures and commitments contained in the Trade Facilitation Agreement. 

The Namibia CBM National Strategy was developed through the assistance of the European Union (EU)-SADC Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) which is implemented by the SADC Secretariat and funded by the EU.

Mr Bevan Simataa, Customs Key Expert of EU-SADC Trade Facilitation Programme at the SADC Secretariat emphasised that the SADC CBM Guidelines have been the preferred approach to border management because they impress upon cooperation, collaboration and coordination amongst the different agencies and stakeholders. 

The Namibia CBM National Strategy will help to expedite the movement of goods across borders, reduce transaction costs, increase the level of trade competitiveness, fulfil commitments under the trade agreements and contribute to meeting the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation requirements.

Mr Alcides Monteiro, Senior Programme Officer, Customs and Task Manager of the EU-SADC Trade Facilitation Programme at the SADC Secretariat stated that the CBM concept was one of the measures that has been adopted by the African Union (AU) to accelerate the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 

The workshop brought together stakeholders from Government agencies and the private sector. 

To operationalise the Namibia CBM Strategy, stakeholders at the workshop recommended the following actions: 

  1. Develop a national policy on border cooperation.
  2. Enact legislation on border cooperation.
  3. Establish Technical Working Groups to coordinate implementation of CBM activities.
  4. Develop a work programme to support the implementation of the CBM strategy.
  5. Government of Namibia to mobilise financial resources to support the budget for operationalising CBM. 
  6. Establish an Electronic Single Window and data exchange system.
  7. Develop common border procedures manuals especially at One Stop Border Posts.
  8. Provide training and capacity building activities on coordinated border management to border officials.
  9. Conduct an assessment of border infrastructure and equipment requirements for implementing CBM; and 
  10. Develop a CBM change management programme.