Regional Workshop on Rules of Origin for Western and Central Africa

25 July 2016

Within the framework of the Capacity Building Programme, the World Customs Organization (WCO), with financial support from the Eurocustoms, organized a Regional Workshop on Rules of Origin for the Customs Administration in Western and Central Africa. This Workshop was conducted in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) from 18 to 22 July 2016, and was attended by 20 officials and managers from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Congo (Rep. of), Cameroun, Mali, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Togo, WAEMO and ECOWAS.

Topics discussed during the 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.

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 initiatives, 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 this Regional 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 participants who greatly appreciated the information received and the insights and experiences shared during the event.