December 2018: CowaterSogema kicks off implementation of the CRATES project

(Mogadishu) – Implementation of the Customs Reform and Trade Enhancement Somalia (CRATES) project has commenced, a joint initiative under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance Somalia and funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), USAID and the European Union. The project,which runs from 2018 to 2022, will deliver a modern Customs function to Somalia.

CowaterSogema International has been successfully appointed to implement the project, which has a budget of £10.2m over the life of the project.

“Broadening the tax base and strengthening the tax and Customs administrations are vital steps towards raising more revenue for Somalia,” says Project Director and CowaterSogema Executive Vice President Dr Samantha Torrance. “The reforms within Customs will have a positive impact on the ease of doing businesses and conducting international trade, which will encourage both activities and at the same time, increase critical revenue flows for Somalia; not to mention modern Customs administrations play an important role in improving the safety of citizens, whether from a consumer perspective, or related to security concerns.”

Implementation of the CRATES project is already rapidly underway, with a team of local and international experts mobilised on the ground in Mogadishu and working in partnership with Customs officials from the Ministry of Finance. A “Training of Trainers” course has already been delivered for Customs officials, legislative reforms are being reviewed, and Customs processes and procedures at the Port of Mogadishu  are being evaluated.

“CRATES is very much a project for the whole of Somalia,” Dr Torrance  emphasises, “Over the next four years, we will partner with the Federal Member States to ensure that all Customs functions throughout Somalia can benefit from the learning and reform CRATES will be supporting and piloting at the Federal-level.”

You are invited to follow the CRATES project’s progress on social media at the following links:

For any queries please email