Successful WCO National Workshop on Rules of Origin for Burundi Revenue Authority

22 June 2022

A national Workshop on Rules of Origin was held by the WCO from 13 to 17 June 2022, being organised in cooperation with the Burundi Revenue Authority (BRA), under the sponsorship of the Customs Cooperation Fund-China (CCF-China). Seventeen Customs officials and three participants from the private sector took part in the Workshop, which was co-facilitated by an expert from the WCO Secretariat and a WCO accredited expert from Africa.

Ms. Félicité Nibigira, Director of Customs Operations inaugurated the workshop at the ceremony and highlighted the important role of Customs in implementing rules of origin. She thanked the WCO and the donor, CCF-China, for the continued support received and stated that this workshop would contribute to enhancing participants’ knowledge on rules of origin, mentioning that Burundi is a party to many Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in Africa (EAC, COMESA and AfCFTA).

During the Workshop, the WCO facilitators presented various technical and practical issues for proper origin determination, including the use of many cases studies under the relevant rules of origin in force were examined.  The use of relevant WCO tools, designed to assist WCO Members in smoothly running origin related procedures, was also examined, with the Guidelines on Origin Certification, Preferential Origin Verification and Irregularities and Fraud on Origin covered. Participants were also informed about the issuance of advance rulings and provision of effective training and private sector outreach. The attendees engaged in lively discussion and hands-on practical exercises, and they reflected on the challenges linked to administrative cooperation.

The knowledge and experience gained from the Workshop will assist the Administration in the correct application of Burundi’s Free Trade Agreements with other countries and will help Burundi benefit from the regional and continental economic integration.

The Workshop concluded successfully with positive feedback from participants who greatly appreciated the insights and experiences shared during the Workshop, who affirmed that they would raise awareness about the importance of correct understanding and application of preferential rules of origin in their administration. They expressed that the usefulness of this event meant that they would be recommending more training on rules of origin and advance rulings.