National Workshop on the Harmonized System organized in São Tomé and Principe

08 October 2012

The objectives of the National Workshop held in São Tomé from 8 to 12 October 2012 were to give HS experts at the São Tomé and Principe (STP) Customs administration the capabilities, for the future, to organize and manage the Harmonized System (HS) in the long term, and also to enable the Administration to accede to the Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS Convention).

The Workshop was organized jointly by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Customs Administration of São Tomé and Principe, with the support of the Japanese Customs Cooperation Fund.

The Workshop focussed on:

  • presenting the main organizational, procedural and technical aspects of the HS to participants, to enable them to gain a better understanding of HS-related international standards and guidelines. The purpose was to build their capacity in respect of the organisation, introduction and management of the HS, and also in respect of migration, given that the STP Customs administration is currently applying the 2007 version of the HS;
  • defining the responsibilities and identifying the tasks of the service in charge of the HS in STP Customs;
  • improving the relevant officers’ capacity to interpret the HS;
  • identifying the tasks to be carried out in order to migrate to the 2012 version of the HS;
  • defining a strategy for the Administration to accede to the HS Convention.

At the conclusion of the Workshop it was understood that the future Tariff Management Unit would be managed by the STP Customs administration’s taxation service, which would do everything in its power to adapt the national Nomenclature to the 2012 version of the HS and accede to the HS Convention.