Burkina Faso Customs progresses towards the effective establishment of an advance rulings mechanism

13 September 2018

As part of the programme of support to Burkina Faso Customs funded by the West African Customs Administrations Modernization (WACAM) Project, whose objectives include capacity building with a view to the establishment of an advance rulings mechanism, the World Customs Organization (WCO) conducted a Capacity Building Workshop on the Harmonized System and Advance Rulings for fifteen Customs managers from the Burkina Faso Customs Administration.

The Workshop, which was held in French, took place from 3 to 7 September 2018 at the Headquarters of Burkina Faso’s General Directorate of Customs, and was led by a Technical Officer from the WCO Secretariat and an Accredited Expert on the Harmonized System.

In his opening address, the Director General of Customs, Mr. Adama Sawadogo, expressed his sincere thanks to the WCO and to the donor country for their support, and reaffirmed his Administration’s strong commitment to implementing the mechanism for advance rulings on the classification and origin of goods, as a means of enhancing Burkina Faso Customs’ growing role as a trade facilitator.

He added that the competent Government services were currently finalizing the legal framework for advance rulings, and this would make it possible to launch the mechanism in the next few weeks so that regular economic operators could benefit from this procedural facility.

He also emphasized the importance of HS-related Capacity Building activities, in order to train competent and motivated human resources capable of making a significant contribution to the successful implementation of the advance rulings mechanism.

The Workshop included a “Theory” technical component dealing, in particular, with the structure of the Harmonized System (HS) and with the General Interpretative Rules (GIR), and a “Practical” technical component which involved examining the tariff classification of certain goods which might be difficult to classify in the HS.

In addition to these technical components, the Workshop also provided an opportunity to address issues related to the techniques for describing goods, and for drafting. 

During the closing ceremony of the Workshop, it was announced that the General Directorate of Customs had already placed the necessary human resources at the disposal of the structure responsible for the advance rulings mechanism.

For more information about this activity or the WACAM Project funded by Sweden, please contact the WCO-Sweden Programme Director, Mr. Richard Chopra (richard.chopra@wcoomd.org).