1.1. Bhutan acceded to the Revised Kyoto Convention 15 September 2014, as the ninety-eighth contracting party. The technical assistance is supporting implementation of the General Annex of the RKC. Training was delivered on implementation of specific modules of the RKC delivered 9-13 June 2014 in Thimphu, Bhutan for the Department of Revenue and Customs (DRC), together with external stakeholders for sensitization purposes. Further, a nation-wide series of RKC awareness-raising workshops and consultations with all stakeholders was successfully conducted by the Department of Revenue and Customs during October and November 2014.
1.2. A Regulatory Impact Assessment Report (based upon amendments made to Bhutan's Customs Act and Rule) has been certified by the Department of Revenue and Customs.
1.3. Comprehensive consultations with public and private sector stakeholders have been held on the proposed amended Customs Act and Rule (October 2014).
1.4. An international Customs modernization expert is being financed through the TA to support DRC in drafting and finalizing the Rules and regulations during June-Oct 2015.
1.5. A Consultation Workshop on the Rules and Regulations will be held (September 2015) to familiarize all affected at-border and behind-the-border agencies and departments.
1.6. To support implementation of the provisions of the RKC, DRC conducted a National Experts Workshop on Customs Valuation in Paro, Bhutan (June 2015), focusing on development of Customs valuation Standard Operating Procedures manual. The Workshop was guided by expertise from the WCO/ROCB A/P, and funded by the TA.
1.7. A second consultation workshop was conducted on the final draft Rules and Regulations in December 2015, where the consultant presented the completed Rules and Regulations documentation.
1.8. An international Customs modernization expert is being financed through the TA to support identified DRC core units in drafting and finalizing strategies and action plans for (i) risk management, (ii) post-clearance audit, and (iii) compliance programs.
1.9. An international Customs modernization expert is being financed through the TA to support DRC in updating and optimizing existing Customs forms to comply with UN Layout Key and WCO Data Model.
1.10. Bhutan's National Council ratified the new Customs Bill in June 2016, and sent the Bill to the National Assembly for final ratification in December 2016, and promulgation in early 2017. The TA supported formulation and consultative process for the new Customs Bill, and continues to finalize the associated Rules and Regulations.
1.11. TA has supported a National Workshop on WCO Harmonized System Classification of Goods (August 2016).
1.12. Bhutan's National Assembly ratified the Customs Act in December 2016, and requested a joint sitting of upper and lower parliamentary houses before promulgation. The joint sitting will happen in June 2017.
1.13. DRC approved final TA-funded consultant deliverables of optimized trade-related documentation (including Customs forms that comply with the UN Layout Key and WCO Data Model), and RKC-compliant strategies for risk management, PCA, and compliance programs.
2.1. User Acceptance Testing of the Customs module within RAMIS continued through the final quarter of 2014, and necessary adjustments made.
2.2. Schedule of roll out of all Customs sub-modules of RAMIS for 2015 has been agreed.
2.3. RAMIS technical developer has conducted week-long user acceptance test and training of trainers on use of priority 1 module (25 May-01 June 2015), focusing on sub-components of import India and export, for 32 participants from DRC, in Thimphu, Bhutan. Onward training to 262 Customs officers will follow from this training in June 2015.
2.4. RAMIS developer conducted a 10-day user acceptance test and training of trainers on use of priority 2 module (17-26 August), focusing on third-country import, and export (including post parcel, courier, passenger terminal, air cargo, and others) for 34 participants from DRC, in Thimphu, Bhutan. Onward training to 262 Customs officers in six strategic locations around Bhutan followed on from this training during September 2015.
2.5. The third and final user acceptance testing and end user training is envisaged for June 2016, following stakeholders meeting in February 2016, in Thimphu.
2.6. The TA supported two international Customs/IT consultants to work closely with DRC in conducting a gap analysis on the functional- and system requirement specifications of the RAMIS Customs modules currently under development, to ensure compliance with the needs of DRC and the provisions of the RKC. The Final Report on the Gap Analysis was presented and well-received by DRC in August 2016.
3.1. Support rendered to Bhutan's National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) in strategic planning, and logistical convening of first five General Meetings of the Committee (January, May, September, and October 2014, and May 2015).
3.2. The TA is financing capacity-building activities for the NTFC, including development of a trade information portal, hosted by Bhutan's Department of Trade, and coordinated through the NTFC.
3.3. Bhutans NTFC was expanded in August 2015, by Executive Order of the Ministry of Finance, to become the National Trade Facilitation and Transport Committee (NTTFC), to accommodate the requirement for a National Transport Facilitation Committee, under the provisions of the recently signed Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement.
3.4. The NTTFC Secretariat established its first Working Group committee and conducted an orientation for the Working group in September 2015, where agreement was reached on the Working Groups work plan.
3.5. The TA supported a National Workshop on the Single Window, Coordinated Border Management and WCO Data Model, with technical expertise from WCO in November 2015. The workshop was held in Paro, Bhutan and a total of 24 participants joined form relevant NTTFC agencies. A special day-long session was held for the Committee Members of the NTTFC, to focus on strategic visioning and planning of a single electronic window system for Bhutan.
3.6. Under the auspices of the NTTFC, the Department of Trade (DoT) is conducting a feasibility study for development of an effective and dynamic trade information portal (TIP) in Bhutan. A team of international and national consultants were fielded in January-February 2016 to work with the NTTFC Secretariat, DoT, DRC and other relevant border agencies and develop options and scenarios for a TIP, supported by the TA. The final report and recommendations is currently under consideration by DoT and other relevant agencies of the NTTFC.
3.7. The TA supported the drafting of a Strategic Framework and Action Plan for the NTTFC 2016-2017, conducted by national Customs expert in Bhutan.
3.8. The Feasibility Report on a Bhutan Trade Information Portal (produced by JFPR TA-funded international expert) was presented to and well-received by the NTTFC in June 2016.