Workshop in Lesotho to support implementation of an advance ruling system for tariff classification and origin

16 julio 2015

The Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) hosted a WCO Revenue Package national Workshop from 6 to 10 July 2015 in Maseru with the aim of continuing preparations for the implementation of an advance ruling system for classification and origin, as required under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

The representatives of the WCO focused on the importance of a well-organized classification and origin infrastructure as well as well-defined and effective classification and origin practices before introducing the advance ruling system.

Presentations were made on the theoretical and practical understanding and implementation of new WCO materials developed under the WCO Revenue Package Phase II, such as the Guidelines on Customs Infrastructure for Tariff Classification, Origin and Valuation and the Technical Guidelines on Advance Rulings for Classification, Origin and Valuation.

Fifteen senior and mid-level managers participated actively in the discussions and used the WCO Diagnostic Tool on Tariff Classification, Valuation and Origin Work and Related Infrastructure to assess the current situation and to identify areas for attention. As a result, a number of action points in relation to an advance ruling system, such as requirements to the legislative framework, procedures, rulings database and record keeping were suggested. Compliance management, the procedure for dispute settlement and capacity building for LRA staff, traders and clearing agents were also considered.

Being Member of SACU (the South African Customs Union), a consultation forum with other SACU countries to improve the work at regional level and the establishment of a customs laboratory at national level, a regional (SACU) laboratory, or using a private laboratory were also given attention.

The Commissioner General, Mr. T. Letjama, and the Commissioner of Customs, Ms. M.N. Lepholisa, both emphasized that LRA was committed to meet its international obligations and they thanked the WCO for its continued support. The advance ruling system would be included in the annual plan and full attention would be given to the project.

The Secretariat will continue its support in this respect.