Nigeria Customs Service upgrades the competency of its staff on the Harmonized System

29 February 2024

From 29 January to 02 February 2024, Nigeria hosted a national workshop on the Harmonized System and commodity classification in Abuja, Nigeria. The workshop was conducted by the WCO under the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for the Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme) funded by the European Union, in partnership with the GIZ and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation. The workshop was part of the comprehensive package of assistance to provide joint support for competency developement in the area of tariff classification in the advent of the implementation of advance rulings in Nigeria.

In his opening remarks, Mr. CG Niangwan, Assistant Comptroller General of the NSC, confirmed the commitment of NCS in developing the competency of its officials as a way of equipping them with the necessary skills to classify goods accurately following the rules of the Harmonized System. He stressed the importance of capacity building in they area of tariff classification as well as other customs operations.

The workshop brought together twenty-four officials from different stations at the Nigeria Customs administration. It was an in person intermediate training preceded by the basic training conducted in the WCO CLiKC! platform under the HS Foundation module in line with the Strategic Guidance for Competency Development. During the training, key topics related to the HS were covered, notably Commodity Classification, WCO HS Convention and a detailed examination of the General Interpretative Rules of the HS. The participants demonstrated clear knowledge and improved skills on the importance of commodity classification for Customs and trade, the links between commodity classification, customs duties, and rules of origins, statistics and trade monitoring. They also acquired in-depth competencies on the HS Convention, the obligations of a Contracting Party to the HS Convention, the structure of the Harmonized System, as well as the ability to apply the terms of the headings/subheadings and any relative Section, Chapter or Subheading Notes.

The workshop also provided an opportunity to the trainees to familiarise with WCO classification instruments and tools (legal notes, explanatory notes, classification opinions, HS digital platforms such as the WCO Trade Tools, etc.).

In his remarks at the closing ceremony of the training, the Deputy Comptroller General of Customs in charge of Tariff and Trade, DCG Mba Musa, representing the Comptroller General of Customs, thanked the EU, WCO, GIZ and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation for their support in organisation of the HS training. He highlighted the importance of HS competencies in promoting revenue collection and trade facilitation.

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