WCO support Cuba on implementation of an advance ruling system and improvement of tariff classification

08 June 2018

A WCO Revenue Package national Workshop, funded by CCF China, was held in Havana, Cuba, from 28 May to 1 June 2018.  Twenty Customs officials worked intensively during the Workshop, which was facilitated by one expert from the WCO Secretariat and one expert from Spanish Customs.

The Workshop focused on the improvement of the current classification work model and on the implementation of an advance ruling system for classification.  The advance ruling system is required in order to accomplish the requirements of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, which entered into force on 22 February 2017.

During the Workshop, the facilitators explained the content of the tools and instruments developed under the Revenue Package in relation to advance rulings.  Presentations related to HS classification, including the amendments under discussion for the HS 2022, were also delivered.  The Director of Customs Techniques, Mr. José Luis Muñoz Toca, delivered a presentation on the current situation within Cuba Customs in the area of tariff classification infrastructure, as well as the necessary steps forward to both improve the tariff classification work model and implement advance rulings.  He also informed the group that the new law providing for the advance rulings on tariff classification was already in the process of approval at the highest level of Cuba government.

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 an action plan with proposals and solutions related to the modernization of classification work and the implementation of an advance ruling system for classification.  The First Vice Chief of Customs, Colonel Nelson Enrique Cordovéz Reyes, highlighted the importance of HS classification and the implementation of an effective advance ruling system for the improvement of Cuba Customs within the framework of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation.  He also recognized the need of imparting the necessary knowledge to the officials that work in this area and thanked the WCO for its ongoing support.  He confirmed that the action plan for the establishment of a better classification infrastructure and for advance rulings on classification presented by the participants would be taken into consideration by the top management in order to decide the way forward.