Four National Seminars on the Harmonized System (HS), organized jointly by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), with the support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), were held at the Institute of Tax Administration (ITA) in Dar es Salaam, from 22 to 29 October 2014. Two Seminars of two days were organized for Customs Officers of the TRA and two more Seminars of one day were also conducted specifically for the Customs Brokers of Tanzania.
The opening of this activity was officiated by the Deputy Commissioner for Compliance and Enforcement, Mr. Patrick Kisaka and by the Rector of the Institute of Tax Administration, Mr. Isaya Jairo. In his opening remarks to the participants, the Deputy Commissioner highlighted the importance of the correct tariff classification of goods and the ongoing reform and modernization of the TRA. He highlighted the continuous support of the WCO and NORAD to meet the demands of Tanzania in its capacity building initiatives and thanked the representative from the WCO Secretariat’s Directorate of Tariff and Trade Affairs for facilitating the high level discussions on tariff classification issues. Mr. Kisaka stressed the importance of the HS as the most widely used instrument of the WCO, responsible for the correct and uniform classification of goods – a key issue for Customs administrations and other relevant international trade stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. Mr. Kisaka also pointed out that the establishment of a national advance ruling programme in Tanzania was a priority for the TRA.
During the Seminars the groups discussed the use and future prospects of the HS and some practical cases of tariff classification in relevant areas such as "high-tech" commodities, textile products and base metals. A wide range of HS-related matters were addressed and the approximately 120 participants of the four Seminars were also thoroughly informed about the fundamental principles and practicalities of HS classification to ensure correct and uniform application of the HS.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Isaya Jairo, thanked the WCO for its ongoing cooperation and said that Tanzania is committed to completing the process of modernizing the HS related infrastructure of Tanzania. He advised participants to make good use of the course materials given to them and to share the acquired knowledge with their colleges.