Malawi tackles challenges in classification with an advanced training on the Harmonized System

26 April 2023

The World Customs Organization (WCO), in partnership with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), held an advanced HS training for Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) from 17 to 21 April, 2023. The workshop, responding to a demand driven request, was organized under the Framework of the EU-WCO Programme for Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme), funded by the European Union, and aimed to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of classification work with a focus on Chapters 27, 28, 29 and 30 of the HS as well as the principles governing the tariff classification of medicaments vs food stuffs, and parts and parts for general use, all identified as areas of specific interest by MRA.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Fredrick Mpeusa, MRA Commissioner Customs and Excise highlighted the timeliness and high relevance of the workshop as it constitutes an important contribution towards enhancing the competence of Customs officers in the area of tariff classification. He urged the participants to make the most out of the training to ensure uniform classification, collection of correct revenue and provision of correct statistics. Mr. Fredrick Mpeusa stressed that the training was particularly important as it focused on key areas in which MRA continues to face challenges in classification of commodities. He thanked the WCO and the European Union for the continued support on Capacity Building and modernization of tariff classification infrastructure.

The workshop was attended by 24 officers from across different units of the MRA and border posts. Workshop participants examined a wide range of fundamental theoretical and practical aspects of the application of the HS in the identified Chapters of the HS. The WCO experts adapted the content to provide exhaustive knowledge and skills on how best to navigate the HS to resolve MRA’s everyday challenges in tariff classification.  The Participants engaged in practical exercises to classify specific products and apply their newly acquired knowledge. As per the WCO guidance on competency development on tariff classification, participants have completed the e-learning “HS Advanced course” available on WCO CLiKC! Platform on the specific chapters covered under the training prior to the workshop.

In closing the workshop, MRA thanked the WCO and the European Union for continued support and emphasised that the workshop has provided great understanding on how to tackle classification challenges. MRA management stressed that the approach for tailored assistance responding to demand driven competency development needs would have a huge impact on tariff classification.

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