Study visit to WCO Headquarters by Ethiopian Customs Commission

26 September 2022

From 12 to 16 September 2022, a group of tariff experts of the Ethiopian Customs Commission (ECC) conducted a study visit to the WCO Headquarters to familiarize themselves with various aspects of WCO Secretariat’s work on the Harmonized System. The study visit was organized by the EU-WCO Programme for Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme) as part of its ongoing capacity building support to the ECC and competency development in the area of implementation of the Harmonized System and commodity classification.

During the study visit, the Ethiopian experts were introduced to the activities and programmes of the WCO Secretariat, with a specific focus on the work related to the Harmonized System and commodity classification. The experts became acquainted with the WCO tools and publications related to the HS, the organization of work in the Documentation Centre of the WCO and the methodology of keeping archives and records, as well as the work of the Tariff and Trade Affairs Directorate.

In order to get some hands-on experience, the experts attended the 70th Session of the HS Committee, where they became familiar with its functioning and met with fellow delegates from other countries to discuss various issues of commodity classification. The experts also had a series of meetings and consultations with staff members of the Nomenclature Sub-Directorate to discuss the approach to determining classification of some specific categories of products whose classification presented some difficulties. One of the meetings was focused on examining the prospect of establishing a Customs laboratory in Ethiopia.

In conclusion of the study visit, the ECC experts met with the HS-Africa Programme team to discuss the best way to improve the mechanism of implementation of HS amendments and reviewed the work plan on building the ECC’s capacity in the area of commodity classification. A draft work plan of cooperation with the HS-Africa Programme and a scheme for the implementation of the next version of the HS (HS 2027) were established, and will be implemented in partnership with the HS-Africa Programme.

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