Sierra Leone Hosts WCO Workshop on the Harmonized System

09 diciembre 2012

A leading exporter of minerals, Sierra Leone is one of over 200 countries who use the Harmonized System (HS) Convention as a basis for their Customs tariffs.

Following a Diagnostic Mission to Sierra Leone in 2007, the Customs and Excise Department has been implementing reforms to simplify its processes and procedures, facilitate trade and optimize revenue collection.

Although not a Contracting Party to the Convention, Sierra Leone has been applying the HS and plans to migrate to the HS 2012 version. 

In 2011, the National Revenue Authority (NRA) set up a Central Unit to deal with matters relating to the HS and tariff classification, valuation and origin.

At the request of the NRA, the WCO provided HS experts from 15-19 October 2012 to work with Customs managers to examine a broad range of HS issues, including:

  • the benefits of becoming a Contracting Party to the HS Convention;
  • raising  the NRA’s awareness about the WCO, the HS and various HS instruments;
  • the implementation of the 2012 HS with national breakouts;
  • a discussion on best practices in the area of organizing tariff classification work and related infrastructure (on the basis of WCO Council Recommendations of 1996 and 1998);
  • a discussion on the development of a national binding pre-entry classification programme.

The Workshop was an important step in working with Sierra Leone to modernize and increase the efficiency of Customs. Additionally, a draft Action Plan was created by participants to ensure sustained progress.

The WCO looks forward to receiving Sierra Leone’s signed instrument of accession to the HS Convention soon and to continue its training and development cooperation with the country.

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