Rabat – In 2020, a year marked by the emergence of COVID-19, Morocco’s customs revenue felt the impact of the pandemic’s disruption of the global markets.
The Customs and Excise Administration (ADII) recorded a 10% decrease in customs revenue, compared to 2019, according to its recently published 2020 annual report. Despite the pandemic, the customs still collected $10.3 billion (MAD 91 billion) last year, in what ADII called “a true feat achieved in a difficult economic and fiscal juncture.”
Despite the obstacles along the way, even with the shrinkage of revenue, the results remain positive and have exceeded the projections made in the Amended 2020 Finance Bill. The figures show an excess of 7.2%, the equivalent to $692 million (MAD 6.13 billion), according to the report.
Faced with potentially disastrous consequences that could arise from COVID-19, for the first time in more than two decades, Morocco had to resort to a new Amended 2020 Finance Bill.
Read also: Morocco’s Finance Bill Forecasts an Economic Growth of 5.4%“Faced with this unprecedented situation, Customs, similar to many other institutions, had to reorganize and innovate,” said Nabyl Lakhdar, director-general of ADII. As part of the reorganization strategy, Morocco “launched a new strategy called ‘CUSTOMS 2023,’ with the ambition of further entrenching the [trusted] relationship linking it to its customers, operators and citizens.”
In the annual report, Lakhdar explains the generalization of e-payments of customs duties and taxes. By early April, a 95% excess of all revenues collected were paid electronically, he noted.
For the entirety of 2020, customs revenue collection rate, through electronic channels, reached 73% compared to 12% in 2019. The “spectacular development,” Lakhdar explains, comes from a “combination of two factors: a pandemic context that prompted professionals to quickly adopt e-payment methods, and Customs sustained efforts to popularize this product.”
He concluded: “Let us remain vigilant and do our best, together, so that 2021 can be synonymous with even better achievements, but above all, synonymous with health and prosperity for all.”