The Gambia Customs sets a first step in its Rules of Origin competency development

25 November 2022

Under the framework of the EU-WCO Rules of Origin Africa Programme, funded by the European Union, the World Customs Organization (WCO), in partnership with The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), held a national training workshop on rules of origin in Banjul, The Gambia, from 7 to 11 November 2022 with the participation of Customs officials from different units and border stations within the Customs Services department. The objective of the workshop was to assist the GRA in enhancing its knowledge and application of preferential rules of origin. The workshop was graced by members of GRA Board of Directors and the Commissioner General.

In their opening remarks, the GRA Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Mrs. Lucy Faye Jagne, and the Commissioner General, Mr. Yankuba Darboe, thanked the WCO and the EU for the continuous support and for the swift reactivity in responding to the request of Gambia to assist in building capacity on rules of origin. They stressed that capacity building and digitalization are important for the efficiency of Customs administrations and highlighted that this workshop shall be complemented by a program of training national trainers to ensure the sustainability of the administration’s capacity building agenda.

During the workshop participants worked on key concepts for proper origin determination, related operational and procedural issues, and the establishment of efficient origin management. Further, the WCO facilitators presented the Revenue Package initiatives, including the Guidelines on Origin Certification, Preferential Origin Verification and Advance Rulings, which have been designed to assist WCO Members in bringing the provisions in Free Trade Agreements into application. The representative from the AfCFTA Secretariat presented the state of play of the continental trade Agreement as well as its Annex 2 on rules of origin. In addition, participants discussed specific areas of concern, including the low level of knowledge and use of the FTAs and challenges linked to administrative cooperation.

The EU-WCO Rules of Origin Africa Programme will continue its work with the GRA on advanced rules of origin and Training of Trainers, which will equip Customs officials with extended knowledge of the rules of origin for efficient implementation and further assist them in training all relevant stakeholders.

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