ADB Supports Streamlined Customs and Excise Service in Solomon Islands

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS – Consultations began yesterday in Honiara on an updated Customs and Excise Act which will boost trade and lift the economy in the Solomon Islands.

“The overall reform of customs is essential to the Solomon Islands economy that relies on the flow of imports and exports,” said Hayden Everett, Solomon Islands Country Team Leader at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). “The new law will also boost the ease of conducting business in country.”

The new customs act aims to be regionally and internationally relevant and reflect modern approaches to customs processes. The Customs and Excise Bill was drafted with technical support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and funded by the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) co-financed by AusAID and ADB.

In particular, importers, exporters, investors, and brokers should reap major benefits from an improved customs system. The new law will speed up customs clearance which subsequently would reduce the cost of trade transactions. It will also confirm the amount of duty and taxes importers need to pay for goods.

The new act will also support regional economic integration as it will be harmonized with customs processes in other Pacific countries and will thus encourage increased movement of goods across the Pacific region.

The extensive consultations will be held with a full range of stakeholders until July 5. The bill may be viewed online via the Ministry of Finance and Treasury website at http://www.mof.gov.sb/Customs.aspx.

Parliament intends to consider the Customs and Excise Bill in the final quarter of this year.

Established in 2006, PSDI is a technical assistance facility designed to improve the enabling environment for Pacific business, thus promoting sustainable, inclusive economic growth.