The EU-WCO Origin Africa Programme Enhances Customs Capacity in Zambia

01 December 2023

In a collaboration between the European Union (EU) and the World Customs Organization (WCO), the EU-WCO Origin Africa programme recently conducted an Advanced Training on Rules of Origin workshop in Lusaka, Zambia. The event, held from 20 to 24 November 2023, was organized in partnership with the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). The workshop brought together customs officials from various units and border stations within the Customs Department, aiming to enhance their understanding of preferential rules of origin and regional trade agreements.

During the workshop's inauguration, Mr Kennedy Kangwa, Assistant Commissioner Learning and Development, expressed gratitude to the WCO and the EU for their steadfast support. He underscored the significance of capacity building in the area of rules of origin thus ensuring the efficiency of Customs administrations. Mr. Kangwa highlighted that the workshop was instrumental in expanding ZRA's pool of experts on rules of origin.

The workshop covered crucial aspects such as proper origin determination, operational and procedural issues, and the establishment of efficient origin management. The WCO team presented comprehensive core origin provisions, including the Guidelines on Origin Certification and Preferential Origin Verification. These guidelines were designed to assist WCO Members in applying provisions in Free Trade Agreements. Practical exercises and case studies were conducted, allowing participants to apply learned origin concepts using regional agreements of their choice, including the AfCFTA.

In a hands-on approach, participants engaged in a day of fieldwork at a manufacturing factory, where they followed and analysed manufacturing processes, raw materials used, and the final product's origin status. The participants concluded the workshop by going through the process of completing sample AfCFTA certificates.

The EU-WCO Origin Africa programme will continue its collaboration with ZRA. The next phase involves the preparation for the Train the Trainer (ToT) course, a critical step for sustained capacity in origin matters. The ToT course will further build on the knowledge acquired during the workshop, ensuring that selected ZRA Customs officials are equipped with the skills necessary to provide ongoing training for relevant stakeholders.