Within the framework of the Capacity Building Programme, the WCO and the Customs Administration of the Democratic Republic of the Congo jointly, and with the financial support from GMD, conducted a National Workshop on Rules of Origin in Kinshasa from 18-22 January 2016, attended by Customs officers from the General Directorate of Customs and Excise (DGDA) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Topics discussed during this Workshop included the key concepts for proper origin determination, and a number of related operational issues, such as the establishment of an efficient organization, provision of effective training and private sector outreach.
On 1 January 2016 the COMESA rules of origin came into force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and must be applied by Customs, economic operators and other stakeholders.
During the Workshop, the WCO presented its Comparative Study on Preferential Rules of Origin and the Database of preferential trade agreements.
The Workshop also allowed presentation of the WCO's Revenue Package initiative including the Guidelines on Preferential Origin Verification, Origin Certification and Advance Rulings, which have been designed to assist WCO Members in bringing the provisions in Free Trade Agreements into smooth operation in the field.
Discussions during the National Workshop also emphasized the importance of verifying the originating status of goods, rather than merely checking the authenticity of the Certificate of Origin.
During the Workshop, participants were eager to deepen their knowledge on the practical application of Rules of Origin and actively participated in practical exercises.
The Workshop concluded successfully with positive feedback from the participants who greatly appreciated the information received and the insights and experiences shared during the week.