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Classifying goods for African trade

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© European Commission
© European Commission

Contributing to the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area by supporting customs reform and modernisation and implementation of international standards and best practices.

Aimed at supporting trade facilitation in Africa, this programme is supported by the EU under the Annual Action Programme 2017 of the DCI Pan-African Programme.

The programme aims at contributing to the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) as envisaged by the African Union (AU), increasing intra-African trade, trade between Africa and Europe, and between Africa and the rest of the world. Also, it aims at contributing to a timely and coordinated classification of goods at the level of the African RECs and on the African continent.

Its specific objective is to facilitate trade through sustainable customs reform and modernisation support, enabling African countries to apply the World Customs Organisation's (WCO) Harmonized System Convention for the classification of traded goods and related provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement and the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention.

The programme has four complementary components aimed at supporting trade facilitation. The components can be considered as ‘toolkits’, each of them dealing with a priority topic for the African Union:

  • Enhancement of the capacity of the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs): identification, analyses and comparison of available regional preferential regimes, establishment of a supra-regional cooperation framework, capacity building of RECSs regarding the development and management of classification rules and systems etc.
  • Enhancement of the capacity of National Revenue Administrations to develop, implement and manage national nomenclatures: identification of critical factors for national classification rules and systems, drafting of national plans, capacity building of African Customs Administration, development of long-term national training plans for classification rules and systems etc.
  • Enhancement of the capacity of National Revenue Administrations to upgrade their national nomenclatures: development of long-term capacities of national Customs Administrations, assistance in the development of a national plan for the updating of their national nomenclatures, provision of guidance and best practice examples of the updating procedure etc.
  • Facilitation for Customs’ stakeholders to correctly apply the classification rules and systems: identification of relevant stakeholders, development of a training and communication strategy for classification purposes etc.