East African Community getting ready to implement HS 2022

23 September 2019

Representatives of the six Partner States of the East African Community (EAC) gathered between 10 and 13 September 2019 in Mombasa, Kenya, to review their work in the area of implementation of the Harmonized System (HS).  The meeting took place at the premises of the WCO Regional Training Centre in Mombasa.  It was organized in the context of the EU-WCO Programme for HS in Africa and was facilitated by WCO experts as well as a representative of the EAC Secretariat.

Participants from Customs administrations of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda discussed avenues to modernize the model of implementation of HS amendments in the Community, with a view to establishing an inclusive, sustainable and efficient mechanism of managing the EAC Common External Tariff (CET).  The EAC Secretariat presented a detailed report on the migration process used during the implementation of previous versions of the HS, emphasising the need to adopt a holistic approach to the development of the CET and encouraging active involvement of Partner States in the process.

Upon invitation of the EU-WCO Programme for HS in Africa, the meeting was attended by representatives of a private company specializing in IT solutions, which is a member of the WCO Private Sector Consultative Group.  Participants explored opportunities offered by modern technology to facilitate the work of Customs officials and make the tariff and tariff-related tools available to the public in a user-friendly format.

Moreover, participants presented and discussed their administrations’ classification work models, with a specific focus being placed on implementation of advance rulings.  The EAC Secretariat has been making significant headway towards adoption of legislation to harmonize the practices of managing advance ruling systems in individual administrations, which is expected to be adopted in 2020.

For more details, please contact capacity.building@wcoomd.org.