National Customs and Trade Facilitation Advisor

  • Contract
  • Lusaka, Zambia
  • Applications have closed
  • Salary: Based on role and experience

Cities and Infrastructure for Growth Zambia (CIGZambia)

Cities and Infrastructure for Growth Zambia
Position: National Customs and Trade Facilitation Advisor
Location: Lusaka-based with in-country travel
Start Date: 09 November 2020
Contract Duration: 8 months (up to 30 June 2021)

About Cities and Infrastructure for Growth Zambia (CIGZambia)

CIGZambia is a facility that provides high-quality independent technical advice and assistance to Zambian government bodies and private sector organisations engaged in projects/programmes that help harness the potential of Zambia’s cities and towns to act as drivers for economic growth and job creation. CIGZambia is funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

The overall programme objectives are to:

  • increase urban productivity;
  • improve inclusive access to urban economic infrastructure services;
  • increase investment into urban economic infrastructure services; and,
  • enhance national and regional integration between cities.

CIGZambia has already engaged and worked with Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) in Chirundu on the ‘Support to Trade and Transport Facilitation at Zambia’s Borders in Response to Covid-19’, specifically on fast clearance of Covid-19 goods, coordinated border management, and communication activities. This was a 6-month project (May-October 2020) that focused its activities on the Chirundu One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) with Zimbabwe. This project will build upon on the achievements and lessons learned, while broadening the scope to include a wider range of issues pertinent to border improvement plans as well as improving the flow of, and reducing negative impacts from, goods transported along the North-South regional trade corridor.

It is expected that the project will focus its efforts on the Chirundu OSBP, but the scope may expand to include other border posts around the North-South regional trade corridor.

About the Role

Building upon the successes of Phase 1, the objectives of this phase are to:

  • Improve infrastructure services through traffic flow management and/or border lighting. An initial assessment through (pre-) feasibility studies will be made for both options to ascertain which aspect has greater impact potential given the time and resources available. Also, early engagement with potential funders will determine whether capital can be secured for infrastructure improvement plans; if not, the project scope will be changed, and the Advisor will adapt accordingly to a new work plan.
  • Improve border coordination among Ministries, agencies, and departments involved in the clearance of goods on issues such as risk management and inspections of goods, which will reduce congestion of trucks at the border and reduce average clearance times.
  • Reduce face-to-face clearance processes and promote electronic trade.
  • Enhance competitiveness of Zambian businesses as a result of more efficient processes relating to import, export and transit of goods procedures.

The National Customs and Trade Facilitation Advisor (CTFA) will provide in-country technical inputs on the ground on customs/trade to assist and support the Lead Customs and Trade Facilitation Advisor in achieving these objectives.

Project Responsibilities

The successful applicant will be required to:

  • Work in close coordination with the Lead Customs and Trade Facilitation Advisor, whether in-country or remotely, responding promptly and flexibly to the needs and demands of the project and the corresponding timelines.
  • Maintain engagement with ZRA and other border agency officials to ensure on-going buy-in to project objectives. This will include project representation at the newly established Inter-Agency Technical Coordination Committee (IATCC) meetings.
  • Provide technical capacity-building support and recommendations to the IATCC to improve its functioning/capacity as well as assist in providing solutions to operational challenges (e.g. processes and procedures related to risk management practices and inspections, pre-clearance, traffic flow mgmt., and any other challenge identified by the project team and/or the IATCC).
  • Establish and maintain relationship with private sector stakeholders, including Customs Clearing Agents, in order to continually promote the electronic trade agenda and improve the uptake of pre-clearance among traders.
  • Work closely with the Strategic Communications Advisor and Infrastructure Engineer(s) to provide inputs and recommendations to communications activities and border improvement plans.
  • Be available at short-notice and be able to accommodate short-notice changes to activity timelines, as well as reporting requirements or travel needs.
  • Provide high-quality inputs to narrative and verbal reports to the Client, including ZRA and FCDO, as well as other stakeholders.
  • Provide technical inputs and recommendations to other project initiatives that may involve widening of scope to include border crossing points other than Chirundu, which may require significant in-country travel. For example, initiatives may involve providing border crossing advice to other projects supported by CIGZambia operating at different border posts (e.g. Livingstone), specifically around conducting a process flow analysis to maximise tourist flows and providing technical recommendations.

Immediate Requirements

There is an immediate requirement for the successful applicant to gain a comprehensive understanding of the project work delivered under the previous project. This includes:

  • The responsibilities and proposed activities under the Terms of Reference of the newly created IATCC.
  • Communications activities conducted to date.
  • Import process mapping.
  • Truck driver consultations (and findings).

The successful applicant will need to understand the implications of the project Phase 2 Terms of Reference and provide insights on activities, which will contribute to the achievement of project objectives.

There will be a need to undertake an early engagement with the ZRA project team to ensure project business continuity.

There will further be a need for an early awareness visit to evaluate current border working practices against the previous project’s findings, as well as establish contact with members of the IATCC.

Key Qualifications

Applicants should have extensive practical experience in the core operations of a customs administration, from strategic, managerial and operational perspectives. Preference will be given to applicants who have:

  • A broad understanding of customs institutional strengthening and trade facilitation programs including the use of digital tools and technologies.
  • Experience in coordinated border and risk management methodologies.
  • An awareness of the issues and challenges facing the implementation of improved customs and trade facilitation methodologies in the Zambia environment, including non-tariff barriers faced by the trucking industry.
  • A dynamic awareness of the Tri-Partite Guidelines on Trade and Transport Facilitation for the movement of persons, goods and services across the Tri-Partite region during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • An understanding of conducting process flow analyses of goods and people across borders.
  • Experience in coordinating project activities with business stakeholders and other donors.
  • Full proficiency in English, with demonstrable skills in written and verbal communication and proven report writing skills to high professional standards.
  • Previous experience of capacity building in the customs and trade facilitation domain (such as organising and conducting training courses and workshops) would be an advantage.
  • Experience working with different stakeholders beyond Customs at borders (e.g. Immigration) would be an advantage.

The technical and operational skills and qualifications required for this position include a high level of knowledge in the following areas:

  • The legislative and regulatory environment for Customs and trade facilitation in Zambia, including adherence to international agreements and standards e.g. WCO Framework of Standards, WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement etc.
  • The use of information technology and new digital tools and applications to support customs administration operations, including Single Window and Cargo Track and Trace.
  • The whole range of Zambia Customs technical procedures and controls relating to cross border and transit trade.
  • Zambia’s current policies and activities in the field of customs enforcement and compliance.
  • Zambia Customs’ approach to trade facilitation and regional integration, including an awareness of the 2009 Tripartite Agreement to implement an extensive Aid for Trade programme encompassing transport, power and trade facilitation projects along the North-South Corridor traversing East and Southern Africa.

Applications

Please send your CV to [email protected] For CV to be considered, subject line in email must be completed as follows: National Customs and Trade Facilitation Advisor – Candidate Last Name, First Name

Deadline for Applications: Wednesday, 04 November 2020