The World Customs Organization (WCO), in conjunction with the “WCO ESA Project II” and the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA), held a 2nd Workshop of the Regional Training of Trainers (ToT) Programme for the French‑speaking trainers of the ESA Region from 1 to 5 October 2018 in Port Louis, Mauritius. The objective of the ToT programme is to establish and develop a pool of skilled French‑speaking trainers capable of delivering training in the region.
In his opening address, the Director of MRA Customs welcomed the participants and highlighted the importance of this WCO-supported regional programme and the workshop which aims to provide the region’s participants with training expertise in the Harmonized System and Customs valuation.
He added that acquiring enhanced technical Customs knowledge in such areas as the HS and Customs valuation was a vital step in undertaking Customs functions and Customs revenue collection.
A total of 13 officials were appointed by their respective Customs administrations of Burundi, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Rwanda to attend the workshop. Eight of the participants chose to focus on the Harmonized System while the other five opted for Customs valuation.
A broad range of topics related to the HS were addressed, and the participants were briefed meticulously on the HS structure, the methods and principles governing the classification of goods in the HS (General Rules for the Interpretation of the HS) and the practicalities involved in classification in the HS with a view to ensuring the proper and uniform application of goods. Those participants interested in Customs valuation attended sessions on a variety of topics, including the background to the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement, the principles governing transaction value and the other valuation methods.
During the workshop, the participants completed practical exercises, both individually and in groups, on particular topics relating to the HS and Customs valuation. In addition, they each individually delivered an HS or Customs valuation training session, thus providing the opportunity for the WCO experts to address issues relating to training methodology and teaching techniques in each of those areas of expertise.
For most of the participants responsible in their administration for carrying out professional duties connected with the tariff classification of goods or Customs valuation, the workshop offered the opportunity to acquire skills and to familiarize themselves with the legal provisions of the HS Convention, including those relating to the HS 2017 amendments, and with the various classification tools, and to acquire a basic technical knowledge of Customs valuation.
In his closing speech, the Director of Human Resources concluded that, in that first stage of basic training, the tasks completed and the discussions held between the French‑speaking participants of the ESA Region in the course of the workshop would help to enhance the participants’ Harmonized System or Customs valuation expertise.