DILI, Timor-Leste – With support from the United States through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Timor-Leste’s Customs Authority today launched a Customs Trade Portal that provides free and easy online access to trade-related information: www.customs.gov.tl.
Available in Tetun, Portuguese, and English, the portal includes a document database where visitors can access and download nearly 200 procedures, policies, laws, and other trade publications. Visitors can submit questions in an automated chatbot feature and access up-to-date, trade-related news.
The Customs Authority also launched a new Strategic Plan that sets out the organization’s vision and includes measurable standards and targets. The plan lays out a strategy for reforming the Customs Authority over the next five years (2021-2025). The Strategic Plan is guided by four core values, namely, integrity, professionalism, transparency, and respect. The plan can be accessed and downloaded from the Customs Trade Portal.
“Today represents another milestone on our journey to becoming a modern and professional organization,” said Acting Commissioner Jose Abilio of the Customs Authority. Mr. Abilio acknowledged the importance of providing access to information, noting that the longer-term goal of the Custom Authority is to “Make trade faster, simpler, and fairer.”
The Minister of Finance, H.E. Rui Augusto Gomes, said: “The launching of the Online Trade Portal and the Five-Year Strategic Plan mark another great milestone for the Customs Authority. These are indeed significant initiatives and they are essential to enable the Customs Authority to fulfil its institutional obligations to become an independent, trustworthy and efficient organization, placing client-centered-services in its core service delivery.”
“The Customs Authority has made tremendous efforts to promote good governance and integrity, and tackle crime and corruption by establishing a Customs Hotline and providing anti-corruption training to its officials,” said U.S. Embassy Chargé d'Affaires Tom Daley. “The new Customs Trade Portal and Strategic Plan represent two important steps on Timor-Leste's journey to modernize its Customs Authority and become self-reliant.”
The new Customs Trade Portal and the Strategic Plan received support from the U.S. government through the four-year, $8.8 million USAID Customs Reform Project.
USAID Overview: The United States government, through USAID, works in partnership with the government of Timor-Leste to support broad-based and effective development. Since 2001, USAID has provided nearly $350 million in development assistance to Timor-Leste. USAID supports Timor-Leste in its efforts to build a more prosperous, healthy, and democratic country. USAID does this by supporting programs that foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth, especially in the agriculture and tourism sectors; improve the health of the Timorese people, particularly women and children; and strengthen the foundations of good governance – all areas that are highlighted in Timor-Leste’s Strategic Development Plan 2013-2030 and will serve to make the country more self-reliant to better address their own development challenges.
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