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WCO supports Madagascar in building national advance rulings system

29 julio 2022

Within the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme) and in partnership with the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, the World Customs Organization offered comprehensive support to the Customs administration of Madagascar to implement a national system of advance rulings. The support included a series of capacity building workshops, provision of HS-related tools and publications, as well as technical and advisory assistance on various aspects of advance rulings.

From 27 June to 1 July 2022, the HS-Africa Programme organized a national workshop on the Harmonized System (HS) and commodity classification, which was held in Antananarivo, Madagascar. This workshop was conducted as part of a work plan developed jointly by the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation and the WCO, which is aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Malagasy Customs to manage requests for advance rulings on tariff classification and deliver rulings to applicants in a timely manner.

Bringing together more than 25 senior and mid-level Customs experts, the workshop reinforced the initial training course on tariff classification organized from 7 to 11 March 2022. The objective of the workshop was to equip specialists who had acquired a good understanding of tariff classification rules during the initial training course with more detailed technical knowledge on certain specific product categories. The workshop focused more particularly on Chapters 1 to 24 as well as Sections XI, XVI, XVII and XVIII of the HS, and was accompanied by practical exercises.

The workshop also clarified specific classification issues presented by the Malagasy Customs, including issues of co-operation with laboratories in the context of tariff classification work. The experts from Burkina Faso, Mauritius and France, who co-facilitated the workshop, shared the experience of their administrations in their relations with laboratories and proposed some practical solutions.

Following the workshop, on 5 July 2022, a ceremony for the official launch of the advance ruling system was held in Antananarivo. In his message sent to the Malagasy Customs administration on this occasion, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General, expressed his satisfaction with the fact that a national system of advance rulings is emerging in Madagascar, thanks to the joint efforts of Malagasy Customs, the National Trade Facilitation Committee, the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, and the WCO. He underlined that the WCO would continue this effort in the future, in particular; through the EU-WCO Programmes for Harmonized System and Rules of Origin in Africa, funded by the European Union.

After the official launch ceremony, on 19 July 2022, a virtual consultation on Customs laboratories was held for the Malagasy Customs. The consultation was co-facilitated by two laboratory experts from the Spanish Customs administration, which had previously supported several countries in successful implementation of laboratory projects. In conclusion of the consultation, the Malagasy Customs agreed that it would be highly desirable to consider a prospect of setting up a dedicated Customs laboratory in the country, based on the WCO Customs Laboratory Guide, with the support of the WCO. It was felt that Customs laboratory would be an important element to ensure not only the proper functioning of the advance ruling system, but of Customs in general.  

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