WCO supports Namibia Customs in its Rules of Origin competency development

02 February 2023

The World Customs Organization (WCO), under the framework of the EU-WCO Rules of Origin Africa Programme, funded by the European Union (EU) and in partnership with Namibia Revenue Authority (NamRA), held a national training workshop on rules of origin in Windhoek, Namibia.  Held from 23 to 27 January 2023, it brought together Customs officials from different units and border stations within the Customs services department, as well as private sector stakeholders. The objective of the workshop was to assist NamRA in enhancing its knowledge and application of preferential rules of origin and contribute to a seamless implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and relevant Free trade agreements (FTAs).

In his opening remarks, Mr. Sam SHIVUTE, Commissioner of NamRA, welcomed the technical assistance activity and thanked the EU and the WCO for the support, both in terms of rules of origin and in the development of an advance rulings mechanism. He stressed the importance of enhancing the knowledge on rules of origin in order to ensure a correct revenue collection while facilitating legitimate trade. The Commissioner urged the participants to benefit to the maximum extent possible from the training to support the mission of NamRA to become a world class revenue agency.

This workshop was conducted as part of comprehensive technical assistance and partnership with NamRA, including in relation to the implementation and launch of advance ruling system in Namibia on July 2022. The support under the Harmonized System (HS) Africa and Rules of Origin (RoO) Africa programmes, funded by the EU, allows for the deployment of all-inclusive and wide-ranging capacity building activities, to enhance the infrastructure and capacity of NamRa both on RoO and the HS.

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 participants examined several practical case studies and discussed specific areas of concern, including the lack of knowledge and use of the FTAs and challenges linked to administrative cooperation and overlapping rules of origin. Discussions also emphasized the importance of verifying the originating status of goods, rather than merely checking the authenticity of the Certificate of Origin.
The EU-WCO Rules of Origin Africa Programme will continue its work with NamRA on enhancing Customs officials’ knowledge of rules of origin through capacity building for efficient implementation of free trade agreements.

For further information please contact EU-WCORoOAfrica.Program@wcoomd.org