Britain, Albania sign MoU over customs system
Minister of Finance and Economy Arben Ahmetaj during his two day visit to London, in the framework of participating in the EBRD’s Western Balkans Investment Forum, also held an official meeting with representatives of the Customs and Tax Authority United Kingdom Ms. Penny Ciniewicz, General Director of the Law on the Application of British Customs and Taxes Vicky Homsy, the Director of Intelligence Andrew Pavlinic, and the director of international intelligence and other representatives, including representatives of the British Embassy in Tirana.
Recently, Albania has become part of the international project “UK Border Force Project Hunter”, which aims to build on an international level the ability to collect, analyze and target data for goods and passengers. Within this project, at the General Directory of Customs in Tirana is staying Steven Whitting, a UK Border Co-ordination Officer.
The Minister informed the British side with the most recent initiatives taken by customs, including the now-entirely online and transparent assessment of the center.
“We will soon be able to do online assessments for exporters as well, and within September we will enable real-time tracking of commercial traffic,” the Minister said.
Ahmetaj added that performance has increased, not only in terms of collecting revenues.
“We now have a very good system of data collection, but we need your help and assistance to deepen the analysis of these data. Integration with the tax database is a challenge we are facing, we are working to create a common platform that integrates risk and intelligence units between the two institutions,” the Minister said.
For her part, Mrs. Homsy said that for customs and taxation is essential the integration of risk data and their intelligent use.
The British side provided support for the training of Albanian staff in this regard and capacity building.
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