Rwanda takes a step towards tackling challenges in classification with an advanced training on the Harmonized System

01 June 2023

The World Customs Organization (WCO), in partnership with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), held an advanced HS training for Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) from 22 to 26 May, 2023. The workshop 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 extensive understanding of classification work with a focus on Chapters 25-29, 50-63, 84-85 and Chapter 90, all identified as areas of specific interest by RRA.

In his opening remarks, Mr. SHYAKA Alex, Director for Regional Trade in RRA Customs highlighted the relevance of such targeted and need driven capacity building in the Harmonized system. He emphasized that the training was particularly important as it is an effort to respond to the challenges faced by RRA owing to the periodic updates of the Harmonized System. Mr SHYAKA also stressed that the training was a great move towards equipping the participants with the knowledge and skills to accurately interpret the HS in a dynamic and evolving business environment, urging the participants to make the most out of the training to ensure improved skills for consistency, uniform classification and provision of correct statistics. He thanked the WCO and the European Union for the continued support in Capacity Building and modernization of tariff classification infrastructure.

The workshop was attended by 30 officers from across different units of the RRA 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 extensive understanding and enhance skills on how best to approach classification of the identified areas of the HS.  A variety of samples were used and examined, especially for classification of textile, HSC decisions were comprehensively discussed to show the many factors taken into consideration when determining the classification of some of the commodities identified by RRA. 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, all participants had 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, Mrs. UWINEZA Marlene Sonia, Director for People Management Unit thanked the WCO and the European Union for the technical support in this area among others. She also thanked the participants for their remarkable work and commitment to ensuring towards to the workshop, she emphasised that the workshop would have a huge impact on tariff classification of commodities in  RRA as it had provided great understanding on how to tackle classification challenges.

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