The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at operationalising tariff schedules and enabling additional free and efficient movement of products in Africa.
The agreement will allow the two organisations to collaborate and support one another as they attempt to overcome logistical hurdles while implementing programs and expanding trade across Africa.
Mr Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, and Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary-General of the World Customs Organisation, signed the MoU in Brussels, Belgium, yesterday.
The AfCFTA Secretariat and the World Customs Organization share the goal of enhancing African development through trade liberalisation.
This MoU is the obvious next step in the two organizations’ efforts to lower trade barriers across Africa by integrating Customs systems, populating the AfCFTA Tariff Book, and providing capacity building for Customs officials and administration.
The collaboration will equip the AfCFTA with technological systems that will allow for data standardization and connectivity between Customs systems, a developed AfCFTA E-Tariff-Book, improved skills and expertise among Customs officials in operationalizing the AfCFTA, migration of all AfCFTA Member States to HS 2022, and the effective start of trading using the AfCFTA tariff Book.
Mr Mene, in a press release was quoted saying that“the MoU would enable the WCO to partner with the AfCFTA in ensuring that Customs Administrations are fully equipped to implement the AfCFTA Agreement.”
The World Customs Organization (WCO) is the only international body devoted only to customs issues.
The World Customs Organization (WCO) is the voice of the customs community, with 184 members processing 98 percent of global trade.
It is known for defining global standards, simplifying and harmonizing customs procedures, trade security, trade facilitation, customs enforcement and compliance, the Harmonised System goods nomenclature, valuation, origin, and customs capacity building.