EU-WCO-AfCFTA partnership reaches a milestone with the launch of the AfCFTA E-Tariff Book and the Rules of Origin Manual

02 August 2022

On 25 June 2022 during the 9th Council of Ministers Meeting, the AfCFTA secretariat launched two major tools deemed key in accelerating trading under the AfCFTA; the AfCFTA E-Tariff Book and the Rules of Origin Manual. Both were developed with the support of the World Customs Organization and the European Union under the EU-WCO HS and RoO Africa programmes.

The AfCFTA e-Tariff Book contains all the information on the tariff schedules and applicable tariff rates for all of the AfCFTA State Parties structured based on the WCO 6 digits Harmonized System (HS). This tool is a milestone as it will facilitate the publication of information on rates of duty applied by AfCFTA State Parties under their Schedules of Tariff Concessions with several search functionalities, comparison of applicable rates between all state parties and option to download the results, hence making it a practical instrument for trading under the AfCFTA Agreement. This tool will further include key information on AfCFTA RoO and could be further enhanced as one stop platform for all relevant stakeholders.

The AfCFTA Rules of Origin Manual is the dashboard for the operationalization of Annex 2 on Rules of Origin in order to provide tariff preferences to goods that meet the origin rules and are traded between the AfCFTA State Parties. It contributes to a uniform interpretation and application of the AfCFTA Rules of Origin in the State Parties, and hence, shall enable Customs officers and other stakeholders involved in the clearance of goods to understand the mechanisms of according the preferential tariff treatment to goods traded in the AfCFTA.

At the margin of the 9th Council of Ministers Meeting, the Secretary General of the WCO, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya met with the Secretary General of the AfCFTA, H.E Mene Wamkele and they took stock at the excellent and efficient partnership between the two organizations namely under the EU Funded programmes for HS and RoO that yielded concrete results. Both are confident that WCO expertise, standards and capacity building programmes shall be instrumental in supporting an effective implementation of the AfCFTA agreement and in equipping Customs officers and private sector stakeholders with the required knowledge and competences.

The EU-WCO HS and RoO Africa programmes will further work with the AfCFTA secretariat to enhance the E-tariff Book by including key information of the AfCFTA RoO, conduct awareness raising campaigns and capacity building activities on RoO using the Manual, and support Customs administration to migrate to the latest version of the HS as well as implement advance rulings and national electronic tariff tools.