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The countries of the WCO MENA region are preparing for the implementation of the 2017 edition of the HS

24 mayo 2016

The WCO, with the support from the Qatari General Authority of Customs, conducted a regional workshop to assist Members of the WCO North of Africa, Near and Middle East (MENA) Region with the uniform interpretation, application and timely implementation of the Harmonized System Nomenclature 2017 Edition, and improvement of fair, efficient and effective revenue collection, in Doha, Qatar, from 9 to 12 May 2016. Thirty-one senior and middle-ranking Customs officers representing 9 Customs Administrations of the WCO MENA Region (Algeria; Bahrain; Egypt; Jordan; Morocco; Sudan; Tunisia; United Arab Emirates and Qatar) participated in this workshop, facilitated by experts from the WCO Secretariat and Jordan Customs.

The workshop was officially opened by Mr. Mubarak Ibrahim Al-boainin, Director of the Training Centre of Qatar General Authority of Customs. He welcomed all participants and stressed on the importance of training, and the need to take advantage of the activities carried out by the World Customs Organization, thanking the WCO for its efforts in this regard. He advised the participants to acquire knowledge and transfer it to their home countries and apply it in their work.

During the workshop, comprehensive explanations on the scope of the HS 2017 amendments were presented, including the background to their development, with a view to ensuring the uniform interpretation and application of the HS Nomenclature 2017 Edition by Customs Administrations in the MENA Region. The Technical Guidelines on Advance Rulings for Tariff Classification, Valuation and Origin and the Diagnostic Tool on Tariff Classification, Valuation and Origin Work and Related Infrastructure, developed under the WCO Revenue Package Phase II, were also presented to respond to the Members’ needs in respect of fair, efficient and effective revenue collection. Also, the new Guide for Technical Update of Preferential Rules of Origin was presented. The Guide provides practical information on how to conduct a technical update of Rules of Origin in relation to changes in the Harmonized System.

The workshop was well received and appreciated by participants and Qatar Customs. In the workshop, the participating countries presented the current status regarding the implementation of the HS 2017 amendments and shared experiences and challenges in modernizing and improving their classification work. The countries foresee no difficulties with the implementation, also on 1 January 2017, of the complementary amendments featured in the Council Recommendation of 11 June 2015, as encouraged in the Recommendation.