WCO National Workshop on the Revenue Package with focus on the HS 2017 in Apia, Samoa

20 June 2017

With the sponsorship of the Japanese Customs Cooperation Fund, a WCO National Workshop on the Revenue Package with focus on the Harmonized System (HS) 2017 was held at the headquarters of the Samoa Customs Service in Apia, Samoa, from 13 to 16 June 2017.

At the opening of the Workshop, Ms. FAUTUA'ALII Avalisa Viali, Chief Executive Officer of Customs Service, Ministry of Revenue, Samoa, highlighted the importance of effective and efficient revenue collection by Customs since, for an island nation as Samoa, revenue is the core means for development.  The WCO Revenue Package tools would assist modernization and enhancement of the capacity and knowledge of Samoa Customs with respect of revenue collection.  Samoa Customs is now in the final stages on the transposition to the HS 2017 with the aim of implementing it from July 2017.  Therefore, this Workshop would support the proper application of the new Customs Tariff Nomenclature and also promote the preparation of Samoa Customs to be a signatory of the HS Convention.  She thanked the WCO and the Customs and Excise of Indonesia for facilitating the Workshop.

The facilitators focused on the importance of a well-organized classification infrastructure as well as well-defined and effective classification practices for correct and efficient revenue collection and trade facilitation.  In this context, the importance and benefits of becoming a Contracting Party to the HS Convention were also emphasized.

Presentations were made on the theoretical and practical understanding and implementation of the WCO Revenue Package tools, such as the Guidelines on Customs Infrastructure for Tariff Classification, Origin and Valuation and the Technical Guidelines on Advance Rulings for Classification, Origin and Valuation, with the experience of Indonesia Customs being shared.

Participants discussed and used the WCO Diagnostic Tool on Tariff Classification, Valuation and Origin Work and Related Infrastructure to assess the current situation and to identify areas for attention.  As a result, a number of action points in relation to becoming a Contracting Party to the HS Convention, a classification infrastructure and an Advance Ruling System, including cooperation with other Government Agencies using the HS, establishments of a classification unit and classification database as well as promotion of the current Advance Ruling System were agreed and suggested by the participants.