EU-WCO HS-Africa Programme Steering Committee gathers for its annual meeting

01 四月 2021

The Steering Committee of the EU-WCO Programme for Harmonized System in Africa (HS-Africa Programme) held its third annual meeting on 30 March 2021, in a virtual format.  Representatives of the European Union, the WCO, the African Union Commission as well as selected Regional Economic Communities and Customs administrations from Africa gathered to review the results delivered by the Programme so far and approve a work plan for the next reporting period.

The Steering Committee members commended the work accomplished by the Programme to date and the results that it had achieved, defying the odds and challenges of the global health crisis. Committee members recognized the difference that the Programme was making for its beneficiaries in addressing their genuine needs and concerns in the area of implementation of the HS and other related matters. The Committee expressed its appreciation to the European Union for the funding provided to the Programme.

The meeting was attended by Mr. Mohamed Ali, Director of Trade in Goods and Competition of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). In his presentation, he informed the Steering Committee on the state of the AfCFTA implementation and the key outstanding issues, in particular, negotiations of Rules of Origin and harmonization of Customs procedures. He stressed the role of the WCO as one of the key partners of the AfCFTA Secretariat in the process of implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area, and reiterated his organization’s interest in joining forces with the HS-Africa Programme to achieve the projected results.

The Committee concluded the meeting by endorsing Programme’s annual report for 2020 and validating the proposed work plan for 2021. In its future work, the HS-Africa Programme will continue placing main emphasis on timely implementation of the HS 2022 amendments by all its partners, and on modernization of tariff classification work practices in Africa.

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