WCO supported Albania’s FTA implementation

30 October 2017

The World Customs Organization (WCO), with financial support from the Swedish short-term Fund, organized a National Workshop on Rules of Origin for Albania Customs. This Workshop, conducted in Tirana from 23 to 27 October 2017, was attended by 21 officials from Albania Customs.

Albania is part of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) and the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Convention, and has also concluded FTAs with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Turkey. Within the framework of these agreements, there is a wide range of possibilities for cumulation with other partners, each with specific requirements in regard to proof of origin and supplier’s declarations.

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

During the Workshop, the WCO facilitators 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, including the low level of knowledge and use of the FTAs and challenges linked to administrative cooperation. Discussions also emphasized the importance of verifying the originating status of goods, rather than merely checking the authenticity of the certificate of origin.

The knowledge and experience gained from the Workshop will assist the Administration in the correct application of the Free Trade Agreements. This will help Albania benefit from the regional economic integration, promote exports of originating products and ensure the correct application of preferential treatments for importations.