Ethiopia Customs sharpens its Rules of Origin skills through advanced training workshop

24 June 2024

Under the framework of the EU-WCO Rules of Origin Africa Programme, funded by the European Union, the World Customs Organization, in partnership with the Ethiopia Customs Commission  (ECC), held a national advanced training workshop on rules of origin for Ethiopia Customs and the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association. The workshop was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 17 to 21 June 2024 with the objective to assist ECC in enhancing its knowledge and application of preferential rules of origin and contribute to a seamless implementation of the AfCFTA and other relevant FTAs.

This workshop builds on the acquis from an intermediate training conducted in 2023 and forms part of a comprehensive technical assistance and capacity building partnership with ECC.

In her opening remarks, Ms Muluwork Derese, Deputy Commissioner, thanked the WCO and the EU for their continued support in building capacity on rules of origin and stressed that the workshop was a significant milestone in enhancing the understanding and application of rules of origin which would empower ECC professionalism and have an impact on the economic development on national, regional and continental level.

During the workshop, participants gained a deeper understanding of key concepts for proper origin determination, including possible flexibilities such as cumulation, tolerance rules and the absorption principle, as well as related operational and procedural issues, such as origin certification and verification. Case studies made the concepts more tangible and relatable, and allowed the participants to detangle the spaghetti bowl of rules of origin in various free trade agreements applicable in Ethiopia. Participants also had the opportunity to observe the practical application and management of rules of origin through a field visits to a producer of originating textile products and to discuss how ECC can further facilitate trade for economic operators trading under preferential trade agreements.

The EU-WCO Rules of Origin Africa Programme will continue its work with Ethiopia Customs to equip Customs officials with extended knowledge for efficient implementation and application of rules of origin. As a next step, the Programme will conduct a training of trainers which will pave the way for Customs to further disseminate their knowledge to colleagues as well as to other relevant stakeholders.

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