WCO mission to promote the WCO Guide on Preferential Rules of Origin for LDCs

09 December 2019

With the support of Kenya Revenue Authority, a WCO Regional Workshop on Preferential Rules of Origin for English Speaking Least Developing Countries (LDCs), funded by India Customs Cooperation Fund, was held at the Regional Training Centre in Mombasa, Kenya, from 3 to 6 December 2019.  The objective of this Workshop was to promote the WCO Guide on Preferential Rules of Origin for LDCs, which was developed in order to ensure that LDCs benefit to the maximum extent possible from the WTO Nairobi Ministerial Decision on Preferential Rules of Origin for LDCs.

Sixteen Customs officials participated actively in the discussions throughout the Workshop, which was facilitated by two experts from the WCO Secretariat and one pre-accredited expert from the region.

During the Workshop, the experts presented the general concept of preferential rules of origin and the WCO Guidelines on certification and verification of origin, providing practical information on how to correctly apply preferential rules of origin. The experts gave detailed explanation on the various elements of the Nairobi decision including useful guidance from a Customs perspective.

The discussion highlighted, among others, that the correct understanding and application of preferential rules of origin is key to better implementation and utilization of the free trade arrangements, which will be achieved by building more expertise in origin matters, conducting more trainings and enhancing the stakeholder engagement, as well as by improving/ and upgrading training materials. The participants also expressed the need to implement the guidelines included in the Nairobi decision in order to review the preference-granting countries’ rules of origin. At the end of the Workshop, many participants noted that the workshop was an eye-opener and that they would raise awareness about the importance of correct understanding of preferential rules of origin in their national Customs administrations.