Renewed focus on tariff-related work in Sao Tome and Principe

29 noviembre 2019

The Administration of Sao Tome and Principe hosted a workshop in Sao Tome on the Harmonized System (HS) from 19 to 22 November 2019.  The workshop was delivered under the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for HS in Africa, funded by the European Union.  The event brought together Customs officers and representatives from the private sector to examine a wide range of topics related to the implementation of modern standards and best practices in tariff classification work.

In order to highlight the importance of the HS-related and secure support for this core area of Customs work, a briefing meeting was organized with the Director General of Customs Mr. Carlos Emanuel Benguela and the Minister of Finance Mr. Osvaldo Vaz.  During the meeting the key role of the tariff in the national regulatory architecture was highlighted and the vital importance of the implementation of the latest version of the HS was brought to the forefront.  The Minister of Finance conveyed his strong commitment to finalizing the migration to the current version of the HS.

Given the prominent role that laboratories play in the tariff classification work, a special session was organized on the cooperation between the national laboratory and the Customs Administration of Sao Tome and Principe.  Representatives of the Centre of Agronomic and Technological Research, Mrs. Antónia dos Santos Neto and Dr. Ana Maria Deus Lima, as well as a representative of the Portuguese quality control laboratory “Oporto Portugal,” Dr. Maria Cristina Antão updated the participants of the workshop on the available testing methods and the principles of the laboratory’s cooperation with the Customs authorities.

Besides the migration of the national tariff to the current version of the HS, other priorities were identified during the workshop, such as establishment of a full-fledged system of advance rulings as well as timely implementation of the HS 2022 amendments.  The Customs Administration of Sao Tome and Principe recognised the benefits of its partnership with the EU-WCO Programme for HS in Africa to further the national Customs modernization agenda.

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