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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This report summarizes key findings and recommendations from a remote technical assistance (TA) assignment performed by a short-term expert (STX), Mr. Djamel Bouhabel, from January 17 to February 4, 2021, to the General Customs Authority of Iraq (GCA). The main objective of the TA was to advise GCA on the development and effective application of customs assessment processes based on international standards and best practices.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents key findings of the Detailed Assessment of the Observance of Standards and Codes in the Financial Sector of Bermuda. The small number of licensed deposit-taking institutions in Bermuda are part of the broader financial intermediation sector. Typically, some 50 percent to 60 percent of the banks’ income is fee based. The value of client assets and the volume of their activities are the main generators of this income. Efforts to reduce employee and occupancy costs that reflect the high cost of doing business on the island are continuing.
Mr. Nombulelo Gumata, Mr. Eliphas Ndou, and Nir Klein
The main purpose of this paper is to construct a financial conditions index (FCI) for South Africa. The analysis extracts the index by applying two alternative approaches (principal component analysis and Kalman filter), which identify an unobservable common factor from a group of external and domestic financial indicators. The alternative estimated FCIs, which share a similar trajectory over time, seem to have a powerful predictive information for the near-term GDP growth (up to four quarters), and they outperform the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) leading indicator as well as individual financial variables. Their recent dynamics suggest that following a strong recovery in late-2009 and 2010, reflecting in part domestic factors such as systematic reductions in the policy rate, the rebound in real economic activity, and a benign inflationary environment, the financial conditions have deteriorated in recent months, though not as sharply as in end-2008. Given their relatively high predictive power regarding GDP growth, a further deterioration may imply that economic activity is likely to slow in the period ahead.
Mr. David C. Parker

Abstract

A supervisory authority’s bank supervision department must be proactive in identifying and responding to emerging issues and problems. Off-site analyses of individual bank and banking system data, on-site inspection activity, and frequent open communication with bank administrators are essential to effective supervision. When problems arise, the supervisory authority should tailor its response to the situation and deal with the matter in a timely manner. Strong supervision can be effective in avoiding undesirable consequences that lead to conservatorship and receivership. Box 2.1 details some of the characteristics of problem banks.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper for Panama reports that the administration is developing a strategy to enhance growth and competitiveness in the Panamanian economy. Corruption is perceived as a widespread phenomenon that has affected both private and public sectors in Panama at various levels of decision making. Even though Panama currently attracts substantial foreign direct investment, corruption may prove an obstacle to a medium-term growth strategy based on foreign investment. One important component of Panama's medium-term strategy is the prospect of a free-trade agreement with the United States.

Mr. Augusto A Perez Azcarraga, Mr. Tadatsugu Matsudaira, Mr. Gilles Montagnat-Rentier, Mr. Janos Nagy, and Mr. R. James Clark

Abstract

This chapter presents integrated risk management (IRM) as an approach for customs administrations to strengthen customs controls while encouraging economic operators’ voluntary compliance and supporting improved trade competitiveness. The adoption of IRM requires a change in mindset from the way a traditional customs administration operates. It introduces several key components that must be implemented at the enterprise level to achieve benefits and ensure compliance across the trade community. This involves a holistic and comprehensive view across organizational units and functions to develop a strategic vision, manage data and information, adopt new IT systems and technologies, update processes, relocate human resources, and potentially implement legal and regulatory changes. Introducing an IRM approach is the foundation to improved decision-making and compliance.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Following the 2014-15 crisis, the economy is growing again and tight fiscal and monetary policies have greatly reduced internal and external imbalances. Inflation has been successfully brought down and reserves-while still being relatively low-have doubled to US$15 billion. The pace of the recovery, however, has been modest, and faster growth is needed if Ukraine is to catch up with its regional peers and lift per capita income levels that have declined to among the lowest in the region.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation shows that following a severe crisis in 2014–15, the economy of Ukraine is growing again. The flexible exchange rate and tight fiscal and monetary policies have greatly reduced internal and external imbalances. The current account deficit fell sharply, from more than 9 percent of GDP in 2013 to 3.6 percent of GDP in 2016. The overall fiscal deficit declined to 2.3 percent of GDP in 2016. Growth will remain at 2 percent in 2017 due to the impact of the blockade in the eastern part of Ukraine, but is expected to reach 3 percent in 2018 as the economy adjusts and about 3.5–4.0 percent over the medium term.