WCO, GIZ and Kenya Revenue Authority Empowers Customs and Stakeholders for the Implementation of AfCFTA through an advanced Rules of Origin Workshop

25 March 2024

Under the framework of the EU-WCO Rules of Origin Africa Programme, funded by the European Union (EU), the World Customs Organization (WCO), in collaboration with GIZ and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), conducted a national advanced training workshop on rules of origin in Machakos, Kenya, from 11-15 March 2024. The workshop saw the participation of Customs officials from various units and border stations within the Customs and Border Control Department, alongside representatives from other government agencies and private sector stakeholders. The advanced workshop was proceeded by an intermediate workshop in June 2023 and aims to enhance the knowledge and application of preferential rules of origin among KRA and stakeholders, thereby contributing to the seamless implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and relevant free trade agreements.

During the opening remarks, Ms Brenda Nyambura, representing GIZ, emphasized the steadfast commitment of the Federal Republic of Germany, facilitated through GIZ, in supporting Kenya's governmental endeavors, especially through the AfCFTA Support Programme. Participants were encouraged to use the advanced training to prepare for forthcoming Training of Trainers sessions aimed at enhancing knowledge dissemination among colleagues across various workstations. Ms. Nyambura expressed gratitude to the EU and WCO for their invaluable partnership in supporting competency development on rules of origin.

In her official address, Ms Josephine Makhoha, speaking on behalf of the Commissioner of Customs and Border Control, Kenya Revenue Authority, underscored the critical importance of mastering rules of origin in facilitating intra-Africa trade. Encouraging an open-minded approach towards learning and active participation in discussions, she reiterated her appreciation for the collaborative support extended by the EU, GIZ, and WCO.

The workshop encompassed critical aspects such as proper origin determination, operational and procedural issues, and the establishment of efficient origin implementation of rules of origin. The WCO team presented comprehensive core origin provisions, including Origin Certification and Preferential Origin Verification, aimed at assisting KRA and stakeholders in applying provisions in Free Trade Agreements. Practical exercises and case studies were conducted, allowing participants to apply learned origin concepts using regional agreements, including the AfCFTA.

Participants engaged in fieldwork at a manufacturing company in a hands-on demonstration, gaining insights into manufacturing processes, raw material utilization, and product origin status identification. During the workshop, participants completed sample EU EPAs -EUR 1, AfCFTA, and EAC certificates of origin, thus preparing them to assist the business community during the implementation of trade agreements.

The EU-WCO Rules of Origin Africa programme will continue collaborating with GIZ and KRA. The next phase involves preparing for the Train the Trainer (ToT) session, which will build knowledge and equip participants with the necessary training skills to provide ongoing training for relevant stakeholders for the implementation of AfCFTA.