Zimbabwe hosts Regional Workshop on the HS 2017 Edition for the WCO’s ESA and WCA Regions

08 August 2016

Under the sponsorship of the Chinese Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF-China), a Regional Workshop to assist the English-speaking Members of the WCO’s East and Southern Africa (ESA) and West and Central Africa (WCA) Regions was held in Harare, Zimbabwe, from 25 to 28 July 2016. The Workshop focused on the uniform interpretation and application and the timely implementation of the Harmonized System Nomenclature 2017 Edition and the improvement of fair, efficient and effective revenue collection. Twenty-eight (28) officials coming from 18 Customs Administrations (Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and the Secretariats of the East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) participated in this workshop. Experts from the WCO Secretariat, the Uganda Revenue Authority and China Customs facilitated the Workshop.

Mr. Kuzvinzwa, the Acting Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), officially opened the Workshop. He welcomed all participants and highlighted that the HS was widely recognized as an indispensable tool for international trade. This workshop would bring to all participants a deeper understanding of the HS 2017 amendments and would contribute to the fair and efficient collection of Customs duties. In this sense, he emphasized that this workshop was crucially important to all Members in the WCO´s ESA and WCA Regions.

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 WCO ESA and WCA Regions.

The materials developed under the WCO Revenue Package were also presented to respond to the Members’ needs in respect of fair, efficient and effective revenue collection.

Through the workshop, all participants presented the status regarding their Administration’s implementation of the HS 2017 amendments. In this context, the explanation on the new Guide for Technical Update of Preferential Rules of Origin was also highly appreciated by the participants. This Guide provides practical information on how to conduct a technical update of Rules of Origin in relation to changes in the Harmonized System.