Origin Workshop at the WCO focuses on Free Trade Agreements and technology

23 January 2013

Back to back with the 31st Session of the Technical Committee on Rules of Origin, the WCO hosted an informal Workshop on Rules of Origin on 23 January 2013 at its headquarters in Brussels, with a focus on how the proliferation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and the role of technology impact origin-related issues.

Speakers from several organizations, namely, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) attended the Workshop.

These speakers, representing the public and private sector, offered different perspectives on the proliferation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) versus multilateralism. The Customs perspective was provided by an official from the Malawi Customs administration.

The latter half of the workshop was devoted to the role of technology and procedural standards within WCO regions. In this regard, representatives from the ICC explained various initiatives undertaken by the Belgian and British Chambers of Commerce related to the issuance of electronic certificates of origin.