LIBERIA – The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Customs Department Thursday (Jan 26 observed the 71st International Customs Day that globally recognizes customs officers and their valuable roles in facilitating international trade.
The day was celebrated under the Theme: “Nurturing the Next Generation: Promoting a Culture of Knowledge-Sharing and Professional Pride in Customs”.
International Customs day was instituted by the World Customs Organization (WCO) to commemorate the day in 1953 when the inaugural session of the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) was held in Brussels, Belgium.
This year’s celebration at the LRA was combined with the graduation of the 4th Customs Class from the Liberia National Police Training Academy in basic police science training.
Fifty-eight Customs Officers were awarded certificates after 12 weeks of intensive training in basic police science, customs procedures, Liberian laws, criminal investigation, case filing, court processes, human rights, gender, and tactical security skills, among others.
National Security Advisor to President M. George Weah, Jefferson Kanmoh, serving as keynoter speaker of the occasion, highlighted the vital role the LRA plays in ensuring the enforcement and collection of lawful revenues for Liberia, including protection and general safety.
He emphasized the need for the tax authority to employ additional technological approaches with the aim to maximize efficiency and minimize the risk of human errors and trade limitations.
Kanmoh urged customs practitioners to embrace the culture of knowledge and information-sharing, terming it as a valued critical national and international partnership, inclusive of physical interaction between customs officers and traders.
The National Security Advisor noted that “Cooperation for border management is a shared global responsibility. The threats and opportunities arising from migration and digitization with which our collective humanity is confronted are dealt with most effectively by working together”.
Mr. Kanmoh reminded customs officers of their responsibilities to at all times facilitate legitimate trade, and ensure border security and protection including the promotion of quality standards and compliance.
LRA Commissioner General Thomas Doe Nah applauded the Customs Class 4 for the successful completion of the intensive training and admonished them to be steadfast in the performance of their duties.
He wants them to serve with vigilance and dedication and work vigorously to ensure the actualization of revenue growth.
“As you leave here today with the knowledge and strategies acquired, I asked you to serve the Liberian people with vigilance and dedication as we strive to move our revenue to billions”, CG Nah stated.
He praised the authority of the Liberia National Police and all stakeholders for the rewarding partnership and firm support in driving the tax authority to a positive new and appreciable level.
Customs Commissioner Saa Samoi called on the graduates to always work diligently and prioritize love for the country in the discharge of their duties of enabling a corridor of safe supply chain and border security.
He assured the readiness of the LRA Customs Department in collaborating with other security apparatus to provide adequate supply chain mechanisms and border management.
“As a lead agency on supply chain security, we stand ready to further strengthen our collaboration and coordination with other members of the joint security in the margins of the national border management and security strategy to which all agencies of the joint security have committed,” Commissioner Saa Samoi noted.
Previously, 153 LRA customs officers have graduated from the Liberia National Police Training Academy since the commencement of the LRA customs security program in 2019.
The security program aims at building the law enforcement capability of Customs Officers to be commensurate with other national security institutions and is a vital requirement in meeting the standards of the World Customs Organization (WCO).