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By RACHNA LAL
The Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) yesterday entered into a partnership agreement with the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Fiji.
Under the new partnership, the two bodies will ensure facilitation of customs compliance as well as training for key stakeholders.
FRCA chief executive, Jitoko Tikolevu, said this arrangement was important because it basically meant FRCA could communicate at a more formal level in terms of compliance and integrity.
“More often than not we underestimate compliance and how we achieve it,” he said.
“For us, Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Fiji are the eyes and ears of the customers.
“It is very important that our customs officers as well as key stakeholders-customs brokers have the same training and implementation of key customs issues.
“When we talk about compliance, both our officers and key stakeholders need to have the same level of understanding in terms of how the various laws are applied,” Mr Tikolevu said.
Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Fiji national secretary, Ronald Das, said this was something they have been looking for.
“It is our moral obligation that we work with customs and also point out anything that is not in line with what should be done,” he said.
“We are working with FRCA to ensure that everything is done over the table.”
Mr Das said it was important to note that while trade facilitation was important, equally important was compliance.
And this partnership would provide the platform for this.
“What happens is there is a lot of pressure on trade facilitation and we forget about compliance. So now, we can work together on compliance and trade facilitation for the betterment of our country.”
The Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Fiji is a body that represents everybody who works in shipping and airfreight logistics.