Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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Desiderio Consultants Ltd. is a think tank and a network of independent professional international development consultants established to promote and influence customs & trade-related policies in African nations to achieve trade facilitation reforms aimed at improving international and regional trade
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New WTO Trade Policy Review report of the European Union available

Within the responsibilities of surveillance of the trade policies adopted by its members, the WTO recently published the 14th review of the trade policies and practices of the European Union (EU). The Trade Policy Review of the European Union (EU) is based on a policy statement submitted to the WTO by the EU on 10 December 2019, and summarises the developments in the EU trade policy during the period March 2017-September 2019 (review period).

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Customs Unions in Africa

A customs union is a type of free trade agreement (FTA) which involves the removal of tariff barriers between members, together with the acceptance of a Common External Tariff (CET) against non-members. Article XXIV, par. 7 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947) stipulates that “any contracting party deciding to enter into a customs union or free-trade area, or an interim agreement leading to the formation of such a union or area, shall promptly notify the contracting parties and shall make available to them such information regarding the proposed union or area …”.

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Nimule-Elegu to start operations as One Stop Border Post soon

In February 2020, the Nimule-Elegu border post, at the northern border of Uganda with South Sudan, officially started its operations as One Stop Border Post (OSBP). The facilities on the Ugandan side at Elegu were already inaugurated in November 2018. Now that the facilities on the South Sudan side are complete, the operationalisation works of OSBP should start soon, this implying a shift from the current “double stop” concept (where two separate sets of activities are performed in the country of exit first and in that of entry after), to a "single stop" process where the border agencies of the two States with inspection responsibilities on goods, persons and vehicles will carry out their functions in a combined and coordinated manner.

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Benin to launch its first Time Release Study (TRS)

Benin Customs, with the technical assistance of the World Customs Organization (WCO), are currently preparing their first Time Release Study (TRS), that is expected be completed by the end of this year. From 13 to 17 January 2020, a National Workshop on was held in Cotonou with the aim of raising awareness and training the staff of Beninese Customs and other stakeholders for the performance of the first national Study.

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The 7th edition of the Harmonized System becomes operational

In a notice published on 29 January 2020 on its website, the World Customs Organisation (WCO) declared as definitively accepted the amendments embedded in the 2022 Edition of the “Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System” (abbreviated as “HS”), as no objection to such amendments has been notified by the Contracting Parties to the HS Convention to the WCO Secretary General during the six-months following to their notification.

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