Call for Experts: Long-term Expert (Customs)

IBM in Silk Routes Countries

Posting Date: 25/02/2021

Deadline for Applications:15/03/2021

Duty Station: Home based with travel activity

Contract Duration: March 2021- 31 December 2022

Organisational overview

The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) is an international organisation tasked with promoting innovative, comprehensive and sustainable migration policies. With 18 Member States and over 60 projects active throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, ICMPD is a growing and ever-more relevant presence in its field. The organisation’s greatest assets are its 250+ staff members, who personify its values of commitment, integrity, partnership, respect, and innovation in actions and decisions.

Project background

The EU-funded project “Integrated Border Management in the Silk Routes Countries” is implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development for the benefit of the Silk Routes countries (SRCs), i.e. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan. The duration of the project is 48 months. 

The overall objective of the project is to support the countries of the Silk Routes region in building their capacity of border management and the development of their national Integrated Border Management (IBM) guidelines, to ensure that these are coherent and effectively co-ordinated at a national, and, if possible, at a regional level, with a focus on effective border control, human resources development and preventing irregular migration.

The Action will lead to the achievement of the following results contributing to the two major outcomes:

Component (outcome) 1: Assistance in developing capacities, instruments and infrastructure 

  1. National IBM strategies and action plans are developed to strengthen intra, inter-agency and international cooperation.
  2. Operational capacities of border management agencies enhanced.
  3. Capacities of training entities of the beneficiary agencies increased.
  4. Infrastructure to facilitate better border management is improved.

Component (outcome) 2: Regional and bilateral coordination and cooperation

  1. Legal framework for international cooperation is improved.
  2. Mechanisms for information and knowledge exchange enhanced.

Objective 

The Expert will support the project team in the implementation of both project components. The overall objective of the assignment will be to provide the project team with the necessary technical expertise and contribute to the relevant capacity building activities throughout the duration of the project. 

Tasks

The Expert will work under the direct supervision of the IBM Project Officer and is expected to perform the following tasks:

  1. Provision of general support to the project team across the region:
  • Assistance to the project team with substantial input to the elaboration of content, and formulation when planning and undertaking project activities, including training workshops, knowledge-exchange activities, strategy and SOP formulation, in customs area across the region.
  • Facilitation and advice on project's liaison and communication with Customs Administrations.
  • Conducting assessment missions on IBM to beneficiary countries (Pakistan and Bangladesh) that include visits to border crossing points (BCPs).
  • Development of the regional training programme for customs officials on trade facilitation, risk assessment systems, and anti-money laundering, and further delivery of training for each country taking into consideration their specificities (in cooperation with the national officials).
  • Review, evaluation or development of technical specifications for the customs-related equipment.
  • Upon request of the project team, participation in coordination meetings with the specialised international organisations.

2. Country-specific tasks: 

  • Coordination of the assessment at the Afghan BCPs, including facilities of Afghan Customs Department and Afghan Border Police, conducted by the locally recruited team.
  • Contribution to the implementation of the work plan for Bangladesh Customs, including:

a) Design and delivery of training workshops on anti-money laundering, trade facilitation, risk management, Kyoto Convention, etc.

b) Provision of an overview of the best practises in Airport Customs Management, Express Courier Management, and Simplified Passenger Movement through Land Ports (modernisation and reform management and transit processes at border ports), including assessment of the processes which are in place and facilitation of study visits. 

c) Assessment of the luggage and currency-related software existing in the country and development of the additional tools in consultation with Customs focal points.

  • Contribution to the implementation of the work plan for the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Pakistan, including:

a) Support with capacity building of Customs in using Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) and Global Traveller Assessment System (GTAS) and required related software and hardware. 

b) Design and delivery of training workshops on Risk Assessment Systems and Trade Facilitation. 

c) Elaboration of recommendations on the steps to be taken to negotiate and implement a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement for the exchange of information on goods and travellers between the EU and Pakistan, and entering into an Authorised Economic Operator Program with the EU. 

Deliverables 

Deliverables are the products of the performance of the tasks listed in the section above. The expert’s assignments and deliverables will be discussed on the recurrent basis and assigned according to the current needs of the countries and the project work plan. 

The reports and other documents are to be submitted in editable MS Word format, in English language and professionally edited.

It is the responsibility of the expert to collect the necessary information required for the performance of his/her assignment. The recommendations and input provided shall be based on good international and European practices and adjusted to the context of the beneficiary countries.

The assignment will commence upon the signature of the Special Service Agreement and last until 31 December 2022.

The Expert shall complete the on-line training on a Respectful Work Environment, which is available on: https://learnhub.icunet.group/

Tentative work plan (to be confirmed)

What

When

Number of Working Days

Development of the concepts for the customs-specific activities

March-June 2021

10

Development of the regional training programme for customs officials on trade facilitation, risk assessment systems, and anti-money laundering,

 

March-September 2021

20

Delivery of customs-related training for each country taking into consideration their specificities (in cooperation with the national officials)

June 2021-December 2022

25 days per country (4)

Assessment missions on IBM to Pakistan and Bangladesh, including visits to border crossing points

May-September 2021

30

Review, evaluation or development of the technical specifications for the customs-related equipment

 

May-December 2021

3 per country

Assessment of the luggage and currency-related software existing in Bangladesh and development of the additional tools in consultation with Customs focal points

April 2021

10

Support with capacity building of Pakistan Customs in using Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) and Global Traveller Assessment System (GTAS) and required related software and hardware

March-December 2021

30

Any further relevant assignment upon request from the PIT

March 2021-Decemebr 2022

20

Maximum number of working days: 230 

Reporting lines

On a regular basis, the Expert(s) will report to the IBM in Silk Routes Project Officer, who will be in charge of the overall supervision both in terms of content and administrative issues and who will provide input and comments on deliverables as needed.

Qualifications and Experience

Qualifications and skills

  • University degree  in law, finance or other border management and customs related subjects;
  • Excellent analytical and reporting skills
  • Excellent presentation and representational skills
  • Excellent language and communication skills (English)
  • Knowledge of national languages would be an asset

General professional experience

  • Working in public administrations or similar agencies
  • Working effectively in a politically sensitive environment and exercise discretion, impartiality, diplomacy and neutrality
  • In depth knowledge and experience of implementation of EC external assistance Integrated Border Management projects in partner countries
  • Work in high-risk countries under security pressure

Specific professional experience

  • At least 15 years of relevant professional experience;
  • In depth knowledge of relevant EU and international normative especially related to customs legislation and practice, including EU Customs Blueprints, WCO Framework of Standards and the Guidelines for IBM in EC External Cooperation;
  • Sound knowledge of EU and international standards, regulations and policies in the field of customs and IBM Strategies, Actions Plans, SOPs, and workflows.
  • Previous working experience in development of customs components of the technical assistance projects
  • Demonstrated clarity in writing, ability in translating abstract concepts into concrete actions/recommendations
  • Excellent knowledge of technical standards on customs-related equipment
  • Knowledge of the good practices in border and customs checks
  • Previous experience of conducting similar assignments in non-EU countries

Material to be provided by ICMPD

  • Description of Action
  • Gaps and Needs Assessment reports conducted in the beneficiary countries
  • ICMPD rules and regulations relevant to the work of the short-term expert
  • Background material, such as studies, assessment reports, presentations, and other reports available to the project team on IBM-related topics for the SRCs
  • Any other relevant documents

Administrative Information 

Travel Information 

The Expert shall receive from ICMPD a travel itinerary for the foreseen activities abroad. Travel by the most effective and economic mode of transportation shall be authorised. Deviations from the approved itinerary reflecting private preferences shall be borne by the Expert. Tickets for air travel will be provided by ICMPD for the most direct and economic flight. For travel by train, a first class ticket is provided as standard. In case the self-purchase  of tickets for the official mission is pre-authorised, the traveller will be reimbursed upon submission of the tickets and a proof of purchase.  Private car usage may be authorised upon provision of the Private Vehicle Liability Waiver form ensuring adequate insurance coverage for damage to third parties, the vehicle and transported passengers and goods. The reimbursement entitlement is calculated based on a kilometric allowance rate applied by the European Commission. The rate covers all vehicle travel costs including toll fees, parking and fuel costs. When using a private car, ICMPD cannot assume liability for any third party claim, damage to the car, or loss or theft of personal belongings left in the car. 

The Expert shall be entitled to receive a daily subsistence allowance (DSA) from ICMPD for authorised missions. The DSA shall be deemed to cover the costs of accommodation, meals, transportation to/from airports, bus or train stations, in-town transportation (such as train, bus, tram, metro, taxi) at the place of destination, gratuities and other incidental costs. A full DSA is applicable for each night spent on official missions outside the place of residence, including travel time. In case where accommodation and/or meals are provided free of charge by ICMPD, a government or a related institution, the amount of daily subsistence allowance will be reduced accordingly. For the three destinations Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, a project specific security fee has been established to cover the increased costs of accommodation, food and other services and enable the choice of safe locations and logistics for travelers. For every day spent in either of the above 3 countries, a lump sum of 100 EUR per day is added on top of the country specific DSA.

Upon request, ICMPD can provide to the traveller an advance of funds for official travel in the amount of up to 50% of the applicable DSA for missions longer than four (4) days. Other mission-related costs, such as necessary visa or vaccination costs are reimbursed based on Project Manager approval and upon submission of supporting documentation.  

Secure transportation services are provided in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The expert is obliged to follow the guidelines, recommendations, instructions and procedures of ICMPD, the Project Team and the security company during entire duration of the mission. 

Travel days compensation:

  • There is no fee compensation for time spent on travel.

Payment Information 

For mission-related payments the Expert shall send the following documentation by email not later than two (2) weeks following the respective activity: 

  • signed and completed statement of mission expenses with all relevant documents, such as boarding passes (inbound and outbound), ETIX/flight/train ticket and receipts for expenditures in addition to the DSA;
  • timesheet(s), duly completed in line with instructions, dated and signed;
  • counter-signed contract;
  • signed payment claim(s) reflecting the days/hours worked as per submitted timesheets.

For payment of the fees for the assignment, the Expert needs to submit - on the templates provided by ICMPD and in line with the payment schedule stated in the contract.

  1. For local travel, Project Manager can authorise the self-purchase; for international travel, self-purchase can be authorised by Project Manager only if the authorised travel agency cannot provide the ticket

The payment to the bank account indicated by the Expert will only be processed after certification by ICMPD that the required services have been satisfactorily performed. 

The documentation for the Travel Claim should be submitted following the respective activity (mission) while the documentation for the Payment Claim is to be submitted not later than 14 days following delivery of the services. Payments for the Travel Claim and the Payment Claim will be processed separately.

Application Process

Interested experts should send their CV with a reference to this announcement in the subject line of the email to Monika.Scegauskaite@icmpd.org.

Downloads

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