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WCO attends Intra-African Trade Fair 2021

30 noviembre 2021

From 15 to 19 November 2021 the WCO Secretariat took part in the work of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), which was held in Durban, South Africa. IATF is one of the key events aimed at increasing export, trade, innovation and investment in Africa. It brings together political leaders and representatives of a wide spectrum of organizations, both public and private. This year the IATF was organized in collaboration with the African Union and the AfCFTA Secretariat, and its main topic was the newly-launched African Continental Free Trade Area.

Upon invitation from the IATF, the Deputy Director of the WCO Capacity Building Directorate Mr. Tafili Ebenezer participated in two panel discussions on “Integrating African manufacturers into regional and global value chains” and AfCFTA’s Tariff, Market Access Offers and Rules of Origin”.  In his presentations, he highlighted the role of Customs in the African integration processes, informing participants of the IATF of WCO tools and instruments that support regional integration and various initiatives undertaken by the WCO to support the operationalization of the AfCFTA. He stressed that the WCO remained fully committed to providing the required assistance and support to Members and organizations in Africa to effectively implement the Free Trade Area in order to boost trade by establishing a single market for goods and services on the continent and promoting Africa’s integration into global value chains.

During the IATF, a series of meetings and workshops covering exporting, trade standards and marketing were organized for participants of the Fair. The EU-WCO Programme for Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme) delivered a half-a-day information session on the HS 2022 amendments and other issues related to the HS. The attention of participants was called to the importance of timely, coordinated and technically sound migration to the new version of the HS by all HS users.

Moreover, the WCO set up a stand at the Fair where participants were informed about various WCO tools and initiatives specifically designed for the private sector. In particular, detailed information was provided on WCO publications, with a specific focus on the HS 2022 updates and tools, as well as on the recently launched WCO Trade Tools database. Among other initiatives for the private sector presented at the stand was the WCO Academy – a dedicated e-learning portal for the private sector and academia.

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