A WCO Revenue Package national workshop on the implementation of an Advance Rulings system for classification and origin, funded by the Finland Project for ESA, was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 26 to 30 August 2019. 23 Customs officers from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) participated in the workshop, which was facilitated by an origin expert from the WCO Secretariat and an accredited Revenue Package Expert.
The workshop focused, in particular, on advance rulings for classification and origin since they will play a vital role in promoting trade facilitation, as required by the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, which entered into force on 22 February 2017.
Being a follow-up mission to a national mission held on the same topic in 2017, the Workshop focused on further developing the legislation and procedures for the implementation of the Advance Rulings programme, as set out in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
During the workshop, the participants worked on several action points stemming from the action plan developed during the workshop in 2017, including the development of a list of necessary information to include in an Advance Ruling application, procedures for internal guidance to officers and guidelines to sensitize and guide the external stakeholders for their easy understanding and active use of the programme
During the workshop, several presentations with respect to Advance Rulings, as well as tools and instruments developed under the Revenue Package, were delivered. KRA officials gave presentations on the current situation within the Administration in the areas of tariff classification and origin infrastructure as well as the progress in relation to Advance Rulings in those areas.
At the end of the workshop, the participants presented the results to the KRA Management. The Chief Manager for Remissions, Exemptions and Waivers, Ms. Lorna Wataku, recognized the importance of the work done. Documented procedures give guidance both internally and externally and allow KRA to adhere to international rules and practices and “build the Customs we want”. She confirmed that the outcomes from the workshop would be discussed with the KRA Commissioner in the coming weeks and that Trade Facilitation was also on the agenda for discussions between Kenya Customs and the Minister of Trade.
Further, informal discussion was held on various classification and origin related topics raised by the participants, which would help them address the actual problems encountered in the field.
The outputs and knowledge gained from the workshop will assist KRA in implementing the Advance Rulings programme, and consequently, in facilitating its trade.
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