Joint WCO-CEMAC workshop on the Harmonized System for Central African Republic

10 December 2020

The WCO joined forces with the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) to provide assistance to its Member states on implementation of the Harmonized System (HS), in the context of the EU-WCO Programme for the HS in Africa. From 30 November to 4 December 2020, the Central African Republic (CAR) hosted a workshop focusing on migration of the CAR national tariff to the latest version of the CEMAC Common External Tariff (CET).

The objective of the workshop was to run a diagnostic assessment of various aspects of the national arrangements in place in the CAR whereby HS amendments are implemented and to determine the optimal way to move forward with the migration process. The main highlights of the workshop were the current version of the HS and the regional cooperation framework at the level of the CEMAC to ensure a smooth transition to new versions of the HS in the CET and at the national level for CAR and other Community Member states.

The diagnostic assessment revealed that Customs ICT systems warranted particular attention, along with training and capacity building strategies in the area of commodity classification. A team of experts of the CAR Customs worked together with workshop facilitators from the CEMAC Secretariat, the Customs administrations of Cameroun, the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and the WCO Secretariat to draft an action plan for the migration of the latest version of the CET, as well as future versions of the HS.

The workshop was the first in a series of national missions to be delivered to CEMAC countries in the context of the EU-WCO HS-Africa Programme. They follow Community regional consultation held in 2019, where a framework of regional co-operation and mutual assistance was established between Members that have successfully completed the migration to the latest version of the HS and those facing challenges in that process.

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