Second Review Under the Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and Request for Waiver of a Performance Criterion Informational Annex

The staff report for the Second Review under the Three-Year Arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) highlights Benin’s macroeconomic framework. All quantitative performance criteria (PC) and benchmarks for the period through end-December 2006 were observed, but one structural performance criterion and one structural benchmark were missed. Reform of the civil service pension fund is urgently needed. Benin’s newly issued Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (GPRSP) places renewed emphasis on private sector-led economic growth.

Abstract

The staff report for the Second Review under the Three-Year Arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) highlights Benin’s macroeconomic framework. All quantitative performance criteria (PC) and benchmarks for the period through end-December 2006 were observed, but one structural performance criterion and one structural benchmark were missed. Reform of the civil service pension fund is urgently needed. Benin’s newly issued Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (GPRSP) places renewed emphasis on private sector-led economic growth.

I. Relations with the Fund (As of April 30, 2007)

I. Membership Status: Joined: July 10, 1963; Article VIII

II. General Resources Account:

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III. SDR Department:

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IV. Outstanding Purchases and Loans:

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V. Latest Financial Arrangements:

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VI. Projected Payments to Fund; (with Board-approved HIPC Assistance) (SDR Million; based on existing use of resources and present holdings of SDRs):

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VII. Implementation of HIPC Initiative:

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Assistance committed under the original framework is expressed in net present value (NPV) terms at the completion point, and assistance committed under the enhanced framework is expressed in NPV terms at the decision point. Hence these two amounts can not be added.

Under the enhanced framework, an additional disbursement is made at the completion point corresponding to interest income earned on the amount committed at the decision point but not disbursed during the interim period.

VIII. Implementation of MDRI Assistance:

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The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) provides 100 percent debt relief to eligible member countries that are qualified for the assistance. The debt relief covers the full stock of debt owed to the Fund as of end-2004 which remains outstanding at the time the member qualifies for such debt relief. The MDRI is financed by bilateral contributions and the Fund’s own resources, as well as the resources already disbursed to the member under the HIPC Initiative (see Section VII above).

Decision point - point at which the IMF and the World Bank determine whether a country qualifies for assistance under the HIPC Initiative and decide on the amount of assistance to be committed.

Interim assistance - amount disbursed to a country during the period between decision and completion points, up to 20 percent annually and 60 percent in total of the assistance committed at the decision point (or 25 percent and 75 percent, respectively, in exceptional circumstances).

Completion point point at which a country receives the remaining balance of its assistance committed at the decision point, together with an additional disbursement of interest income as defined in footnote 2 above. The timing of the completion point is linked to the implementation of pre-agreed key structural reforms (i.e., floating completion point).

IX. Safeguards Assessments:

The Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) is the common central bank of the countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union, which includes Benin. The most recent safeguards assessment of the BCEAO was completed on November 4, 2005. The assessment indicates that progress has been made in strengthening the bank’s safeguards framework since the 2002 safeguards assessment.

The BCEAO now publishes a full set of audited financial statements and improvements have been made to move financial reporting closer to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Furthermore, an internal audit charter has been put in place, mechanisms for improving risk management and risk prevention have been established and follow-up on internal and external audit recommendations has been strengthened.

The new assessment identified a number of areas where further steps would help solidify the progress made. The main recommendations relate to improvements in the external audit process (including the adoption of a formal rotation policy), further enhancement of the transparency of the financial statements by fully adopting IFRS, and further strengthening of the effectiveness of the internal audit function. The status report of the implementation of recommendations, received from the bank in March 2007, indicates that some progress has been achieved.

X. Exchange Arrangement:

Benin is a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The exchange system common to all member countries of the WAMU is free of restrictions on payments and transfers for current international transactions subject to Fund jurisdiction. The union’s common currency, the CFA franc, had been pegged to the French franc at the rate of CFAF 1 = F 0.02. Effective January 12, 1994, the CFA franc was devalued, and the new parity set at CFAF 1 = F 0.01. Effective January 1, 1999, the CFA franc was pegged to the euro at a rate of EUR 1 = CFAF 655.957. As of end December 2005, the rate of the CFA franc in terms of the SDR was SDR 1= CFAF 794.72.

XI. Article IV Consultations:

The last Article IV consultation discussions were held in Cotonou during August 9–23, 2006. The staff report (EBS/06/146; 11/13/06) and selected issues paper were discussed by the Executive Board, and the 2006 Article IV consultation concluded, on November 27, 2006.

XII. ROSC Assessment:

An FAD mission conducted the fiscal module of a Report on Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) in May 2001. The mission recommended the adoption of a three-year action plan containing measures to improve expenditure management. The mission also identified a list of actions to be taken quickly to ensure that the authorities were able to monitor budget execution. The ROSC fiscal transparency module for Benin was circulated to the Board on June 6, 2002 (Country Report 02/217).

XIII. Technical Assistance:

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XIV. Resident Representative:

Mr. Yao has been the Resident Representative since September 26, 2005.

II. Relations with the World Bank Group

Partnership in Benin’s development strategy

1. Benin’s poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP), finalized in December 2002, was discussed at the Bank and Fund Boards in March 2003. The PRSP provides a framework for aligning donor assistance programs, including those of the Bank and the Fund, with the country’s poverty reduction efforts. Benin is now planning to prepare its second PRSP.

2. The IMF has taken the lead in helping Benin maintain macroeconomic stability. In that context, the three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement, which was approved in July 2005, addresses issues related to fiscal consolidation and structural reforms that are key to maintaining macroeconomic stability and fostering growth. The PRGF’s structural conditionality focused on the following areas: public expenditure management, tax policy and administration, civil service reform, and the privatization program.

3. Public expenditure management reform has been an important focus of the Bank’s assistance program. In close collaboration with the Fund and other donors, the Bank has provided technical and financial assistance to the government’s reform efforts in this area. The Bank has also been in the lead in helping Benin strengthen the provision of basic social services, most importantly in the education and health sectors, pursuing a divestiture program in the utility and infrastructure sectors, and enhancing the competitiveness of the cotton sector.

IMF-World Bank collaboration in specific areas

4. Common objectives and joint support for Benin’s PRSP and the Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC Initiative) processes have increased collaboration between the Fund and Bank in recent years. The Bank and Fund teams are closely coordinating their policy advice to the authorities. There is also close coordination in the determination of structural conditionality

5. In general, the Bank is leading the policy dialogue on key structural aspects of the reform program, with a strong focus on public expenditure management. The Fund is in the lead in the policy dialogue on macroeconomic issues, particularly fiscal elements of the reform.

Areas in which the Bank leads

6. Divestiture program and private sector development The Bank has supported Benin’s program for the divestiture of public enterprises through different projects. The remaining enterprises to be privatized include the cotton parastatal, SONAPRA, and most public utilities: the telecommunications company (OPT), the water and electricity distribution company (SBEE), and the Autonomous Port of Cotonou (PAC). Assistance for the privatization of the OPT and for improving the Cotonou port operations is provided through the Private Sector Development Project. The Bank supports the privatization of the electricity branch of the SBEE through the Energy Services Delivery Project which was approved by the Bank’s Board on July 6, 2004. Successful completion of this privatization is a condition for moving to the second phase of this project. The privatization of SONAPRA’s ginning mills is supported by the Cotton Sector Project. The now closed Transportation Sector Project assisted the government in designing a strategy to involve the private sector in the management of the PAC. The Fund is involved in policy dialogue on these operations, given the importance of the divestiture program to macroeconomic stability and growth.

7. Service delivery reforms. Improving access to basic social services is one of the four main strategic pillars of Benin’s PRSP, and the health and basic education sectors are among the priority sectors that have received increased budget allocations in the medium term expenditure framework (MTEF). The Bank supported reform programs in these sectors through investment projects that were closed in the past three years. In line with the CAS discussed at the Bank’s Board on July 3, 2003, the Bank is continuing to work closely with the government on enhancing access to, and quality of, education and health care services through policy dialogue and financial and technical assistance in the context of the Poverty Reduction Support Credits (PRSCs). A number of key policy measures in these two sectors have been implemented as conditions for reaching in March 2003 the enhanced HIPC Initiative completion point, and the first and second PRSCs which were presented to the Bank’s Board in March 2004 and June 2005, respectively. The Bank is also playing a lead role in support of a multisector response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, based on the government’s comprehensive strategic framework covering 2000-05, adopted in December 2000. A follow-up project is under preparation for FY07 Board presentation.

8. Poverty monitoring. The PRSP presents an action plan to establish a reliable database for measuring income poverty in 2003 using a revised methodology. The Bank is providing technical support for the implementation of this action plan and for other efforts aimed at understanding the determinants of poverty in Benin. These include the poverty and social impact analysis (PSIA) of cotton sector reform, which was prepared by IDA in collaboration with the government, and the Poverty Assessment (PA), which was released in June 2004.

9. The Poverty Assessment was disseminated in conjunction with the PRSP in December 2004 with the assistance of the Bank. The Bank is also advising the authorities, in the context of the implementation of the PRSP, on strengthening institutional arrangements for monitoring and evaluating poverty in the country.

10. Cotton sector reforms. Cotton is Benin’s only major cash crop, and the sector has accounted in recent years for around 80 percent of its export earnings. The cotton sector is a key focus of the Bank’s assistance program. A comprehensive reform of this sector, aimed at liberalizing and strengthening the capacity of producers has been undertaken since the early 1990s, with the support of the Bank and bilateral donors. Important progress has been achieved so far, such as by eliminating the monopsony of the state enterprise (SONAPRA) in cotton marketing, liberalizing input supply, and opening the sector to private ginners. In 2002, the Bank Board approved a Cotton Sector Reform Project, which is supporting the consolidation of the reforms. The Bank is also helping the government to define the regulatory framework for the sector which was adopted at end 2004.

Areas in which the Bank and Fund share the lead

11. Public expenditure management reform. Through its Public Expenditure Reform Adjustment Credit (PERAC) and related Supplemental Credit (now both closed), the Bank played a lead role in assisting the authorities in putting in place a framework for a thorough public expenditure management reform, which was launched in 2001. The PERAC aimed at enhancing the effectiveness and poverty focus of public expenditure. As shown in the 2004 PER, the reform has achieved good progress so far, such as the finalization of an MTEF on the basis of the PRSP, the completion of a performance-based budget cycle, an effective delegation of spending authority to line ministries, and an introduction of a computerized budget implementation system, as well as in the area of reporting on and auditing government accounts. The Fund supported these reform efforts through a number of financial and structural benchmarks in the PRGF management.

12. Fiscal policy and fiduciary framework. Fiscal consolidation was a key objective of the Fund-supported PRGF arrangement. The Bank is focusing on inter- and intrasector allocations, in particular in the priority sectors covered by the PERAC and the future PRSCs (education, health, water and sanitation, transportation, agriculture, forestry and environment). These priority sectors have represented about 55 percent of total expenditure, excluding debt service, in recent years. In addition, the Bank is helping to strengthen Benin’s fiduciary framework through analytical and advisory activities (AAA), such as forthcoming update of the Country Procurement Assessment Report (CPAR), the Country Financial Accountability Assessment (CFAA), and the governance and anti-corruption survey. The PRSC-2 supports a comprehensive action plan for public procurement reform that addresses main weaknesses identified in the 1999 CPAR.

13. Poverty reduction strategy. Together with other external development partners, the Bank and Fund have jointly provided assistance to the government in the preparation of Benin’s PRSP. The PRSP was discussed at Bank and Fund Boards in March 2003, together with a joint staff assessment prepared by Bank and Fund staffs. Both institutions will continue to jointly advise the authorities on the refinement, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the strategy. Bank and Fund staffs also helped the government finalize its second annual progress report of the poverty reduction strategy, formally transmitted in April 2005 and circulated to the Bank and Fund Boards in June 2005. The Bank supported the government to prepare a detailed action plan for the dissemination of the PRSP. The consultation program is designed to reach key line ministries within the government, the National Assembly as well as the civil society and the private sector. (announce the upcoming PRSP).

14. Debt sustainability. The Bank and the Fund jointly supported the government’s efforts to reach the HIPC Initiative completion point in March 2003. In the context of the new PRGF program, Bank and Fund staffs updated the debt sustainability analysis for Benin, in close collaboration with the authorities. To maintain debt sustainability after enhanced HIPC Initiative relief, the authorities will need to pursue a prudent external financing policy. The Bank and Fund intend to continue the dialogue with the government on this issue, including through providing advice on the required strengthening of domestic capacities for debt management.

15. Civil service reform and devolution policy. The Bank provided in the past major technical assistance for the design of the reform of the civil service promotion and compensation system. Through its Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) and subsequent PRGF, the Fund has included structural measures designed to implement this reform. However, a key measure—the adoption of legislation regarding the new compensation system for civil servants—has been stalled for several years. Another important area of public sector reform is the devolution policy, which gained momentum following the municipal elections held in December 2002. The Fund is monitoring closely the fiscal implications of this policy. The Bank has recently conducted two pieces of analytical work on public administration reform and decentralization as a basis for policy dialogue.

16. Financial sector policy. The Fund has supported the government’s efforts to strengthen Benin’s financial sector. These efforts have focused on ensuring that banks meet the Regional Banking Commission’s prudential ratios. The reform of the financial sector also includes the divestiture of the state-owned Continental Bank and the rehabilitation of microfinance institutions. As part of the Private Sector Development Project, the Bank has been providing support to two major microfinance institutions. A financial sector review was completed and the report was released in July 2004.

Areas in which the Fund leads

17. Macroeconomic stability. The medium-term objective of Benin’s macroeconomic program is to achieve strong economic growth and reduce poverty, while maintaining financial stability. The Fund has been supporting this program through its dialogue on macroeconomic policy, technical assistance, and the PRGF framework.

18. Tax and custom administration reforms. To enhance Benin’s fiscal revenues, the Fund has provided technical assistance to help the authorities prepare and update action plans aimed at improving the performance of the tax and customs administrations as well as broadening the tax base.

World Bank strategy

19. The overriding objective of the current Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) discussed at its Board on July 3, 2003 is to help Benin reverse the recent trends of limited or no poverty reduction amid relatively robust growth. Progress in reducing poverty and attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) requires further deepening of cotton sector reforms, strengthening efforts toward diversifying the economy, making tangible progress in the social sectors, building effective and responsive public institutions, promoting gender equality, and strengthening collaboration with the private sector and civil society. The CAS describes a program of financial assistance and nonlending services as the Bank’s contribution to addressing these challenges. It supports the implementation and further refinement of the PRSP, and it is aligned to the four PRSP pillars.1 A new CAS is scheduled to be prepared in 2008 once the Government has finalized its PRSC.

20. The CAS enforces the gradual shift of the Bank’s lending program toward programmatic lending, as initiated under the interim CAS (I-CAS) approved in January 2001 and in response to the PRSP’s explicit invitation to donors to do more in that area. Building on the PERAC, the Bank expects this shift to enhance the development impact of its assistance to Benin by fostering national leadership of development programs. It has also facilitated donor coordination around Benin’s PRSP. This will require, however, a continued strong commitment to advance public sector management reforms aimed at increasing efficiency in the use of public resources. To address these transitional challenges, the Bank will continue its support of Benin’s public expenditure reform through financial and technical support. Annual single-tranche PRSCs are envisaged to remain a key vehicle for Bank support to the country. A first PRSC was presented to the Bank’s Board in March 2004, and the second PRSC, presented to the Bank’s Board in June 2005, will continue to support the PRSP pillars, with components on macroeconomic stability, service delivery, and governance.

Benin: Status of World Bank Portfolio

(In millions of U.S. dollars, as of June 28, 2006)

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21. The PRSP preparation process has fostered collaboration between the Bank and other development partners, including civil society organizations. Donors have signaled their willingness to align their assistance programs to the PRSP and some of them (the European Union, the African Development Bank, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Netherlands) have engaged in budget support operations, in close coordination with the Bank’s PRSC preparation process.

22. As of June 28, 2006, the Bank lending portfolio consisted of seven operations, with a net commitment of US$232.4 million and an undisbursed balance of US$168.8 million (see table above). The CAS has a determined lending volume for the period FY04 - FY06 amounting to US$200 million. As discussed previously, a large part of IDA financing (US$85 million) has been channeled through PRSCs. As indicated in the CAS, a key objective of the Bank’s nonlending program is to help the government strengthen its sectorwide expenditure programs as a basis for consolidating programmatic support and building the capacity required for preparing, implementing, and monitoring these programs.

Prepared by World Bank Staff. Questions may be asked to Mr. Nils O. Tcheyan, Acting Country Director for Benin, ext. 38445; or Ms. Nancy Benjamin, Country Economist for Benin, ext. 30189.

III. Statistical Issues (As of end-April 2007)

1. Benin’s economic database is broadly adequate for both program monitoring and surveillance, and, the common indicators required for surveillance are generally provided to the Fund on a timely basis. However, there are weaknesses in the areas of national accounts, public finance, monetary statistics, and balance of payments. In January 2001, the authorities adopted the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) as the framework for the development of the national statistical system; sectoral metadata, which were initially posted on the Fund’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board in September 2001, are due to be updated. As a follow-up to GDDS participation, STA technical assistance (funded by the Japanese government) is being offered to the eight member countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) to assist with implementation of plans for the improvement of their statistical systems. A Fund regional statistical advisor initiated a program of assistance in government finance statistics, which is now managed by the West Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center (AFRITAC West). A real sector statistics improvement program, conducted in collaboration with the regional statistical office AFRISTAT and initiated in May 2002, is currently being implemented.

Real sector statistics

2. Benin participates in WAEMU’s harmonization of statistical methodologies through the multilateral surveillance process, currently seeking regional improvements in the area of national accounts. In 2003, the National Statistics Institute (INSAE) undertook the necessary steps to change the base year to 1999 using the ERETES module. Under the GDDS project for the AFRITAC West countries, a statistical register and an industrial production index are being developed, and a series of missions are scheduled to assist in the implementation of the 1993 SNA. The last AFRITAC West mission of November 2006 helped with the compilation of 2001 accounts using the ERETES module and advancing the work for preparing the accounts for subsequent years.

3. Consumer prices for Benin are measured using the WAEMU harmonized consumer price index.

Government finance statistics

4. Monthly government finance statistics are compiled by the Ministry of Finance with a one-to three-month lag, based on information provided by the budget, customs, tax, and treasury directorates. The Ministry of Finance prepares a monthly reconciliation of spending commitments made by the budget directorate and payments made by the treasury. However, no final budget or treasury accounts are published at the end of the fiscal year. Recently, Benin provided 2005 data for publication in the Government Finance Statistics Yearbook(GFSY). No data are reported for publication in International Financial Statistics (IFS)

Monetary and financial statistics

5. Monetary and financial statistics are compiled and disseminated by the regional Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). Difficulties experienced by the BCEAO in estimating currency in circulation for the individual member countries, partly because of delays in processing cash in its vaults, prompted AFR and STA to draft a joint letter to the Governor of the BCEAO requesting an analysis of the developments in currency-incirculation and net foreign assets, and a description of measures being undertaken to improve the situation. In response, the BCEAO made substantial revisions in 2005 to the estimates of banknotes in circulation in member states resulting from cross-border banknote movement. These revisions were due to changes in the method to estimate currency in circulation in the WAEMU countries. The revised method, based on updated sorting coefficients (initially established in 1990), has been applied retroactively from December 2003. The BCEAO is using sorting coefficients to evaluate the amounts of currency issued by each country, which in turn, are used to estimate currency in circulation and to adjust the net foreign assets of each member country.

6. A monetary and financial statistics mission visited the BCEAO headquarters in Dakar in May 2001, and STA participated in a BCEAO-sponsored seminar on monetary statistics in April 2003. In these regional forums, STA reviewed with the BCEAO representatives outstanding methodological issues that concern the member countries of the WAEMU and discussed the BCEAO’s plans to adopt the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (MFSM).

7. In August 2006, as part of the authorities’ efforts to implement the MFSM’s methodology, the BCEAO reported to STA monetary data for June 2006 for all member countries using Standardized Report Forms (1SR-central bank, 2SR-other depository corporations, and 5SR-monetary aggregates). These data were reviewed in STA and comments were provided to the authorities. However, no response from the authorities has been received thus far.

Balance of payments

8. Since December 1998, the responsibility for compiling and disseminating balance of payments statistics has been formally assigned to the BCEAO by area-wide legislation adopted by the countries participating in the WAEMU. The national agency of the BCEAO in Cotonou is responsible for compiling and disseminating Benin’s balance of payments statistics, and the BCEAO headquarters in Dakar for delineating the methodology and calculating the international reserves managed on behalf of the participating countries.

9. Data consistency has significantly improved over the past few years, with a full transition to the Balance of Payments Manual, Fifth Edition (BPM5). The BCEAO national agency typically disseminates balance of payments statistics with a more than one year lag, exceeding GDDS guidelines. The BCEAO also compiles and disseminates the annual data of the international investment position data with an 18-month lag.

10. Regarding trade data, the ASYCUDA1 customs computer system is now installed in all main border customs houses; ASYCUDA ++ is installed in the port and at the airport. The interconnection between the computer systems of the main departments of Customs has not been completed yet and the monitoring of import data needs to be stepped up.

11. Further improvement in the data for services and transfers (especially workers’ remittances) will depend on the intensification of the contacts with reporting bodies. The authorities’ commitment to strengthen the human and technical resources should be enhanced.

12. Concerning the financial account, the foreign assets of the private nonbanking sector are still not well covered, especially the assets of WAEMU residents, which are obtained through partial surveys of residents’ foreign assets. The organization of an exhaustive annual survey of foreign direct investment transactions is still at a very preliminary stage. The BCEAO has recently updated the compilation of commercial bank data on payments involving nonresidents; however these data are not used to produce annual balance of payments estimates, but rather to assess existing information.

13. A technical assistance mission on balance of payments statistics visited Cotonou November 11-23, 2004. Key findings were that human resources devoted to balance of payments statistics by the national agency of the BCEAO are insufficient, but that the reporting system was well developed and consistent. Regarding trade in goods, and the recording of informal transactions, the statistical adjustments to Customs data appear methodologically sound; however, the hypotheses and reference bases on which they rest are largely untested. Other weaknesses in the current account concern the underestimation of transportation services and overestimation of current transfers. In the financial account, the coverage of direct investment is poor while unsorted banknotes impacts on the compilation of net external assets in the balance of payments and international investment position statistics.

Poverty data

14. Major methodological weaknesses remain regarding poverty data. In particular, the methodology used in the household surveys raises concerns about the treatment of the nonfood expenditure share in the calculation of the poverty line, the division of Benin into 12 agro-ecological zones, and the comparability of poverty statistics across urban and rural areas and across time. The authorities are implementing an action plan to address these methodological issues. The authorities have completed a modular survey of household living conditions to update the poverty profile in the context of the preparation of the second PRSP.

External debt

15. The Caisse Autonome d’Amortissements (CAA) is responsible for signing international loan agreements, maintaining the debt database, and servicing the government’s external debt obligations. Since 1995, the CAA has been using the Commonwealth Secretariat Debt Recording and Management System (CS-DRMS) to record and manage the debt. For the majority of creditors, the CAA’s database is fairly comprehensive and up-to-date, and contains accurate stock data, as well as projected debt-service flows, on a loan-byloan basis. For a small number of creditors, however, regular statements are not received.

Benin: Table of Common Indicators Required for Surveillance

(As of April 30, 2007)

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Includes reserve assets pledged or otherwise encumbered as well as net derivative positions.

Both market-based and officially determined, including discount rates, money market rates, rates on treasury bills, notes and bonds.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic nonbank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extra budgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

Including currency and maturity composition.

Daily (D); Weekly (W); Monthly (M); Quarterly (Q); Annually (A); Irregular (I); Not Available (NA).

1

The ASYCUDA (or SYDONIA, in French) software, sponsored by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and by donor countries, has already been implemented in many countries. Freely available to customs administration, it is provided together with appropriate staff-training schemes.