10 December 2007

East Africa: Burundi Revenue Authority Opening Slated for Mid 2008

Kigali — The director general of Burundi Customs department Mr. Ezéchiel Nibigira has said Burundi will be having a Revenue Authority by July 2008.

When established, the body will become the official revenue institution in the country.

Mr. Nibigira said while attending the 23rd East Africa Revenue Authorities Commissioner Generals' meeting in Kigali Serena hotel that Burundi's finance ministry was committed to establish a revenue authority.

"We call for your help," Nibigira appealed to commissioner generals from other EAC states.

The meeting was attended by Commissioner Generals from Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.

Burundi was represented by the director general of Customs department, Mr Nibigira.

Nibigira said that in February 2008, Burundi's finance ministry would unveil a document which will draw the road map for establishment the revenue authority.

He said Burundi loses a lot of money due to the fact that the country does not have a national tax body.

Nibigira told East African Business Week that the energy sector was one of the biggest revenue sources in Burundi although it still records huge sums of uncollected taxes.

This year, Burundi recovered 20% of the total revenue in debts and it looks forward to doing better in the near future..

Burundi seeks to enforce the Advanced Cargo in Computerized and Documentation System (ASCUDA) on its Rwanda and Tanzania entry points and operationalize it by February 2008.

Nibigira said Burundi is embarking on improving its transit system by introducing serious investigative and surveillance teams. He requested Tanzania to help achieve this goal.

According to Nibigira, about 80% of the customs staff are not trained on customs quality service delivery and by January 2008, they will have an intensive training on customs to improve service delivery.

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