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Successful WAEMU Consultation and Workshop on Rules of Origin held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

10 junio 2024

Under the framework of the EU-WCO Rules of Origin Africa Programme, funded by the European Union, the World Customs Organization (WCO) in partnership with the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) held a regional consultation in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 3 to 7 June 2024 with the participation of experts from Customs and Ministry of Industry from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

The objective of the consultation was to discuss and exchange on pertaining challenges in the implementation of rules of origin (RoO) in the WAEMU region and take stock of the state of play with regard to applicable preferential rules of origin and trade agreements in the region as well as capacity building needs and envisaged regional and national initiatives focusing on RoO. The consultation was followed by a workshop on the migration of originating products from their initial HS version to HS 2022 and on the modernization and alignment of the WAEMU origin protocol to the AfCFTA Agreement and other regional FTAs.

Mr. Janvier Sawadogo, Chargé de Mission, on behalf of the Commissioner, WAEMU Regional Market and Cooperation Department, opened the consultation meeting highlighting the importance of preferential trade agreements and rules of origin for regional economic integration. He also stressed the importance of aligning the origin protocol to limit blatant divergences with the continental agreement and strengthen the industrial base of the region, and added that the migration of originating products to HS 2022 contributes to reduce disputes and improves the efficiency of Customs administrations.

The consultation concluded with the drafting of a road map for capacity building and awareness raising activities. The outcomes of this consultation will feed into the work plan of the EU-WCO RoO Africa Programme and steer the partnership and support for the WAEMU Commission and its members.

During the following workshop, participants successfully updated the list of approved originating products to HS 2022. The next step is to complete the update taking into consideration the 10 digits used in the common external tariff.

Participants also took first steps in the modernization of the WAEMU rules of origin and had detailed technical discussions on the provisions of the origin protocol. A text will be drafted and submitted to Member States for validation and approval according to internal procedures.

The EU-WCO Rules of Origin Africa Programme will continue its work with WAEMU and its Members to ensure efficient implementation and application of rules of origin in the region.

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