Ethiopia on the move to overhaul its national tariff classification work model

05 July 2019

The Ethiopian Customs Commission (ECC) hosted a workshop on the implementation of the 2017 version of the Harmonized System (HS) and organization of tariff classification work and related infrastructure.  The workshop was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 24 to 26 June 2019.  The workshop was organized under the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for HS in Africa, offering comprehensive assistance to Member administrations, Regional Economic Communities and other stakeholders on the African continent on the implementation of the HS. 

The workshop brought together officers from several units of the ECC as well as representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the latter of which has the overall responsibility for the implementation of the HS in Ethiopia.  A thorough examination of the sequence of procedures applied to implement new versions of the HS revealed a considerable potential to streamline and shorten some of the phases and steps in that process.  There was a consensus among participants that review and remapping of the existing processes would be indispensable in order to ensure timely implementation of HS amendments.

The workshop provided a good opportunity to examine a variety of other issues related to tariff classification work in the country and identify areas where the Programme should provide assistance.  It was agreed that the migration to the 2017 version of the HS and the preparation for the implementation of the HS 2022 amendments should be among top priorities to be followed up by the ECC, in close cooperation with the EU-WCO Programme for HS in Africa.  Further promotion of the national advance ruling system and establishment of a Customs laboratory were also seen as important areas where continued effort would be required.

During a briefing meeting with the senior management of the ECC, Mr. Azizew Chanie, Deputy Commissioner, highlighted the sustained commitment of Ethiopia to modernization of tariff classification work.  He expressed his confidence that the joint efforts of his administration and the WCO, under the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for HS in Africa, would yield concrete results and make a tangible difference for Ethiopia.