The World Customs Organization (WCO), in partnership with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), conducted a workshop on the transposition of the HS 2022, in Asmara, Eritrea, from 4 to 7 September 2023. The workshop was organized under the context of the EU-WCO HS Africa Programme, as part of the work-plan established with COMESA to support its members with the efficient implementation of the Harmonized System and developing tariff and classification competency.
In his opening remarks, the Director General of Eritrean Customs expressed his utmost gratitude and appreciation to the WCO, the COMESA, and the European Union for the support provided to assist in the migration to the HS 2022. He also highlighted the needs within his administration for capacity building and competency development, and committed that he will push towards more active participation in the programme and in the WCO committees and work.
Ms. Balness Sumani, Senior Customs Officer - Trade & Customs Division at COMESA, underlined the importance of partnership in supporting all members and praised the collaboration with the EU-WCO HS Africa programme that has already achieved good results in other countries. She commended the responsiveness and availability of the programme to support Eritrea and looks forward to have them finalizing the migration to the HS 2022 as well as engaging in further activities in the programme towards effective competency development.
Prior to the workshop, The WCO experts from Mauritius, Zimbabwe and the HS Africa Programme have reviewed the draft transposed Eritrean national tariff to the HS 2022 and provided guidance and feedback. The workshop presented the HS 2022 amendments and went through the transposed national tariff. The workshop also discussed a few recommendations that could enhance the migration to the next version of the HS, and exposed capacity building opportunities that the Eritrean Customs could benefit from under the programme.
Following this workshop, Eritrea will be in position to implement the HS 2022 and notify both COMESA and WCO before the end of 2023. The programme will remain available to further assist Eritrea to enhance its tariff classification work.