WCO mission to Lao PDR to support improvement of tariff classification and implementation of an advance ruling system

27 November 2017

A WCO Revenue Package national Workshop, funded by CCF Japan, was held in Vientiane, Lao PDR, from 13 to 17 November 2017.  It focused on the development of an advance ruling system for classification and on implementation of HS 2017.  Twenty Customs officials worked intensively during the Workshop, which was facilitated by experts from both the WCO Secretariat and China Customs.

The Workshop focused, in particular, on the improvement of the current classification work model and on the implementation of an advance ruling system for classification.  This will play a vital role in promoting trade facilitation and is required by the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, which entered into force on 22 February 2017.

During the Workshop, several presentations with respect to advance rulings, the tools and instruments developed under the Revenue Package, and HS classification were delivered.  At the discussion session, the head of Classification and Rules of Origin Section delivered a presentation on the current situation within Lao PDR Customs Department in the area of tariff classification infrastructure and the necessary steps forward in relation to advance rulings and improving the tariff classification work model.

At the end of the Workshop, the participants presented the results of the practical application of the Diagnostic Tool on Tariff Classification Work and Related Infrastructure, including some action points with proposals and solutions related to the modernization of classification work and to the implementation of an advance ruling system for classification.  The Director of International Cooperation Division, Mr. Khanpoun Inpent Lasabout, highlighted the importance of HS classification for revenue collection as well as for development of Lao PDR and recognized the need of imparting the necessary knowledge to the officials that work in this area.  He confirmed that the action plan for the establishment of a better classification infrastructure and for advance rulings on classification presented by the participants at the closing session would be taken into consideration by the top management in order to decide the way forward.