A WCO Revenue Package national Workshop on Customs Infrastructure and the development of an Advance Ruling system for classification and origin, funded by HMRC, was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 8 to 12 May 2017. Twenty Customs officers participated in the Workshop, which was facilitated by an expert from the WCO Secretariat.
The Workshop focused, in particular, on Advance Rulings for classification and origin since they will play a vital role in promoting trade facilitation, as required by the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, which entered into force on 22 February 2017.
During the Workshop, several presentations with respect to advance rulings, as well as other tools and instruments developed under the Revenue Package, were delivered. At the discussion session, two participants gave presentations on the current situation within Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) in the areas of tariff classification and origin infrastructure as well as potential paths forward in relation to Advance Rulings and structural modernization in those areas.
At the end of the Workshop, the participants presented the results of the practical application of the Diagnostic Tool on Tariff Classification, Valuation and Origin Work and Related Infrastructure, including action points with proposals and solutions related to the modernization of classification and origin work and to the implementation of an Advance Ruling system for classification and origin. The Director, Valuation and Tariff Classification Directorate, Mr. Fekadu Bekele, recognized the importance of those proposals and confirmed that the action points for Advance Rulings on classification and rules of origin developed by the participants during the WCO Workshop would be discussed with the ERCA senior management in the coming weeks.