Terms of Reference – Clearing Agent Training Provider – Zambia

The Alliance is seeking a qualified organisation with experience in conducting professional training programs to synthesize and deliver a specialised clearing agent training

Terms of Reference – Clearing Agent Training Provider – Zambia

Center for International Private Enterprise / Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation


1. Background

The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation is a public private partnership for trade-led growth, supporting governments in developing and least-developed countries in implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. Alliance projects cut through red tape and end costly delays at borders by bringing together governments and businesses of all sizes as equal partners to deliver targeted trade reforms. The Alliance is led by the Center for International Private Enterprise, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the World Economic Forum, in cooperation with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). It is funded by the governments of the United States, Canada, and Germany.

CIPE, on behalf of the Alliance, is implementing a project to modernize the framework for the licensing of customs clearing agents (customs brokers) in Zambia. Customs brokers serve as the intermediary between the Customs administration and traders; a well-functioning border relies heavily upon brokers’ knowledge, professionalism, and integrity. Both the private sector and the Government of Zambia have underscored substantial concerns about the current licensing system and its negative impacts on trade.

Under current practices, some brokers can obtain licenses without proper training, proof of knowledge of applicable customs laws and requirements, demonstrated compliance with customs requirements, or even demonstrating a physical address for their business. The private sector believes that brokers often lack sufficient knowledge and expertise in clearing goods because there is no proper customs brokers framework, training, and examination in place. The Government of Zambia has expressed concern about the lack of knowledge and understanding of importers’ and customs brokers’ duties and responsibilities.

The project is being implemented over three phases:

  • Improving the framework – During this phase, all elements of a modern customs broker framework have been assessed to create a clear roadmap for the creation of a licensing system that incorporates a training course and an examination.
  • Development of exam and training – It is anticipated that two major parts of the newly envisioned framework will be a training course and subsequent compulsory examination for existing and prospective brokers. This phase of the project has developed a training program in association with the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), and the customs broker associations.
  • Implementation of training and examination – To ensure that all brokers can objectively demonstrate their ability to compliantly perform “Customs Business” on behalf of their clients. The ZRA, the Alliance and the 4 associations have introduced a Certified Customs Clearance Agent licensing process. As part of the process, it is a requirement that brokers/agents pass a specialized examination that will enable them to qualify for a license, hence the introduction of the Certified Customs Clearing (CCC) Agent Training Program. The program’s development is in line with the recommendations of various stakeholders including the ZRA, and the four Clearing and Forwarding Agents’ Associations. The training and examination will be new and compulsory activities introduced into an already established industry. Therefore, they will need to be gradually phased in. It is envisaged that the training will be partly based on E-learning but also have a practical, hands-on training component. To maximize accessibility, both training and examinations will need to be offered in various locations across Zambia. The examinations will be designed and set at the national level and qualified trainers and training institutions will be encouraged to offer the courses both through the e-learning platform and practical training

2. Assignment description

Recognizing the importance of well-trained custom clearing agents, the Zambian Government through ZRA and its allied partners including the four Clearing and Forwarding Agents’ Associations composed of the Zambia Customs and Forwarding Agents Association (ZCFAA), Zambia Freight Forwarders Association (ZAFFA), Customs Clearing and Freight Forwarding Agents Association (CCFFAA) and Southern Freight Forwarders Association (SFFA), aim to establish a training program that equips brokers with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in this field. The purpose of the Certified Customs Clearing Agent (CCCA) Training Course is to enable prospective Customs Clearing Certified Agents (CCCAs) to successfully pass the Certified Custom Clearing Agents’ Examination. The course will build and refine skills in topics such as Classification, Valuation, and Rules of Origin so that industry professionals can objectively demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in customs clearance. This course is designed to teach complex information in a way that is simple and easy to learn. It is extremely user-focused and will give the student/brokers/customs agents the skills necessary to successfully pass the ZRA CCCA examination.

This training will build and enhance prospective Certified Customs Clearing Agent’s knowledge of Customs and related laws, regulations, and procedures, compulsory to render trustworthy and esteemed service to importers, exporters, and those in transit. The students will learn the fundamentals, principles, and application of ZRA law and regulations in a sensible, easy-to-understand presentation that makes learning easy. The training covers 85 – 90 percent of what will be on the examination. Despite at-home studying and preparation (Self Study) constituting most of the training program, this program includes a full blended in-person physical lessons Course at the beginning of the program integrated with an e-learning portal to provide support for this activity, and an In-person training (Practical Seminar) that will be four weeks in duration and delivered prior to examination. In addition, the training materials will be reflective of examination content.

The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation in conjunction with the Zambia Revenue Authority and the Clearing and Forwarding Agents’ Associations invites qualified and suitable training institutions/organizations to submit a proposal to administer a Certified Custom Clearing Agent Training Program. We are seeking a qualified organization with experience in conducting professional training programs to synthesize and deliver this specialized training.

3. Scope of work

Eligible training institutions must allocate human resources to the development and delivery of CCCA training to undertake the following tasks:

  • Deliver the training sessions as contained in the Curriculum in accordance with the agreed-upon schedule and format (e.g., in-person, online, or a combination).
  • Ensure active engagement and participation of trainees through interactive teaching methods, group discussions, and practical exercises as contained in the Curriculum.
  • In collaboration with ZRA and the 4 customs clearing, and freight forwarders associations conduct assessments and administer the examinations to measure trainees’ progress and knowledge acquisition as contained in the Curriculum.
  • TEVETA issues the certificates to participants who successfully complete the training program and meet the specified requirements.
  • Provide post-training support, including access to additional resources or a helpline to address participant inquiries specific to Zambia’s customs regulations.

4. Deliverables

The program has targeted about 700 trainees. Selected training institution(s) should have the capacity to use the following modes of delivery to train trainees:

Mode of Delivery Venue
Face to face meetings On-campus
Assignments/Assessments Off campus
Online support Off campus
Self-study Off campus

5. Proposal requirements

Interested training institutions based in Zambia shall submit a comprehensive proposal addressing the following points:

  1. Organization Profile: Provide an overview of your organization, including its background, experience in conducting training programs, and relevant certifications or accreditations.
  2. Training Methodology/ technical proposal: Describe your approach to training delivery. Note that the training materials are already developed and selected training institution can readily utilize the training materials.
  3. Training Faculty: Introduce the trainers who will be responsible for delivering the program. Include their qualifications, experience in customs and trade, and any relevant certifications or industry affiliations.
  4. Training Facilities and Resources: Detail the facilities and resources your organization can provide to support the training program, including classrooms, audiovisual equipment, and access to relevant reference materials.
  5. Participant Evaluation: Describe the methodology you will employ to assess participants’ progress and knowledge acquisition throughout the program. Explain how you plan to issue the certification upon successful completion.
  6. Budget/financial proposal: detailed cost of tuition per trainee and location.

6. Selection criteria

  • An accredited training institution either under TEVETA.
  • Demonstrated experience and knowledge in conducting professional training programs, particularly in the customs and trade field.
  • Qualifications and expertise of the trainers assigned to the program.
  • Adequacy and suitability of the training facilities and resources.
  • Competitiveness of the proposed budget.

CIPE may choose to partner with one or more institutions to undertake the assignment after a pre-award due diligence assessment.

7. Submission of proposals

Interested institutions shall send a technical and financial proposal to tradejobs@cipe.org with the subject: Training institution Zambia [Acronym of the training institution]. Deadline for submission: January 15, 2024.

Questions regarding this ToR may be sent to tradejobs@cipe.org no later January 3, 2024.

8. Pre- and post-proposal conference

Pre-proposal submission videoconference will be held with all interested training institutions to address any questions related to the assignment on January 5, 2024 at 9:00am EST or 3pm CAT. Those interested may request access link to the conference at tradejobs@cipe.org

A summary of the topics discussed during the pre-proposal video conference and an anonymous compilation of questions (non-specific) raised by email along with responses will be distributed to all interested parties.

Pre-selected institutions meeting minimum qualification requirements will be contacted individually to present proposals in a post-proposal videoconference.