Côte d’Ivoire hosts a Training of Trainers workshop on the Harmonized System for the West and Central Africa Region

08 July 2024

From 24 to 28 June 2024, the World Customs Organization conducted a Training of Trainers workshop on the Harmonized System for the WCO West and Central Africa (WCA) Region in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The workshop was organised within the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme), funded by the European Union.

The Training of Trainers workshop aimed to develop a pool of competent trainers in the area of HS tariff classification who could further disseminate knowledge about the HS in their respective countries and region. The training brought together 35 representatives from the 24 WCA countries, who are experienced experts on tariff classification in their Customs Administrations. The workshop was conducted by two WCO experts and one recognised expert from Spanish Customs. HS Experts from Côte d’Ivoire Customs who had successfully followed the Programme’s competency development cycle between February 2023 and January 2024 were able to put in practice their skills and facilitated dedicated sessions.

In his opening remarks, Colonel Léopold AKE, representing the Director General of Customs, highlighted the importance of the HS in trade facilitation and management of customs processes while emphasising the critical role played by the HS in streamlining Customs procedures, ensuring accurate tariff determination and facilitating the collection of correct trade statistics. He thanked the EU for its strong commitment to support African partners at continental, regional and national level through such initiatives as the HS-Africa Programme. He extended his appreciation to the WCO on the remarkable partnership in the implementation of the Programme.

Mr. Abdel Kader SANGHO, the Director of the WCO Regional Office for Capacity Building for the WCA Region, emphasized the role of accurate application of the Harmonized System as a key factor for successful trade facilitation and continental integration. He also thanked the WCO and the EU for their commitment and high quality support in building the capacities of WCA Customs Administrations on HS.

The Training of Trainers workshop was an occasion to deepen the experts’ understanding of the HS as well as develop and strengthen their training skills to deliver HS related training in their administrations. The workshop fostered a vibrant learning environment, offering the participants a unique opportunity to deliver short group and individual presentations in various HS related topics while taking into account the skills and tips learnt from the WCO experts.

In conclusion of the workshop, the WCO experts provided general feedback to the participants with a focus on key areas that needed improvement as well as commending the notable areas where participants deployed the acquired skills in developing training materials and delivering a training.

For more details, please contact wcoHSAfrica@wcoomd.org.