Sub-Regional Workshop on Rules of Origin for CARICOM Member countries

06 December 2016

Within the framework of the Capacity Building Programme, the World Customs Organization (WCO), with financial support from CCF Korea, organized a Sub-Regional Workshop on Rules of Origin for the Customs Administrations in CARICOM Member countries. This Workshop was conducted in Santo Domingo (the Dominican Republic) from 28 November to 2 December 2016, and was attended by officials and managers from the Bahamas, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.

Topics discussed during the Workshop included the key concepts for proper origin determination, and a number of related operational issues, such as the establishment of an efficient organization, provision of effective training and private sector outreach.

During the Workshop, the WCO facilitator presented the Revenue Package initiatives, including the Guidelines on Preferential Origin Verification, Origin Certification and Advance Rulings, which have been designed to assist WCO Members in bringing the provisions in Free Trade Agreements into smooth operation. The WCO Comparative Study on Preferential Rules of Origin and the Database of preferential trade agreements were also presented.

Participants discussed specific areas of concern to the Sub-Region, including the lack of knowledge and use of the FTAs, excessively high transportation costs in the Caribbean and lack of direct routes between the countries and challenges linked to cooperation. Discussions also emphasized the importance of verifying the originating status of goods, rather than merely checking the authenticity of the Certificate of Origin.

During the Workshop, participants were eager to deepen their knowledge on the practical application of Rules of Origin and actively participated in practical exercises.

The Workshop concluded successfully with positive feedback from participants who greatly appreciated the insights and experiences shared during the event.