The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosts a WCO MENA Regional Workshop implementation of an Advance Ruling system on tariff classification and rules of origin

08 June 2023

Under the sponsorship of the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the World Customs Organization (WCO) organised a MENA Regional Workshop on implementation of an Advance Ruling system on tariff classification and rules of origin as required under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement for the MENA Region. The Workshop was held from Sunday 28 May to Thursday 1 June 2023 in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and was conducted in Arabic and French with simultaneous interpretation into both languages.

It was carried out at the ZATCA Academy and officially opened by welcoming remarks from the ZATCA Learning and Development Management Lead Expert, Ms. Najwa A. Alsaydalani.

20 Customs officers from Algeria, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, and Tunisia participated in this workshop, facilitated by the WCO Secretariat, and a WCO Accredited Expert on Harmonized system from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

During the Workshop, participants had the opportunity to engage in informative presentations on advance rulings, as well as explore new tools developed for tariff classification and origin infrastructure.

Discussion sessions allowed participants to evaluate the current state of their respective administrations in the areas of classification and origin. Seeking possible solutions, they referred to the "Diagnostic Tool on Tariff Classification, Valuation and Origin Work and Related Infrastructure" to foster a way forward. The workshop placed a particular emphasis on advance rulings, recognizing their significance in promoting trade facilitation and ensuring the uniform application of classification and origin principles, as required by the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

At the end of the Workshop, all participants acknowledged that well-organized infrastructure formed the basis for objective, predictable and transparent practices in classification and origin and recognised the importance of increasing their institutional capacity to carry out the core Customs functions of classification and origin in an efficient and effective manner.