Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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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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WCO Guidelines for the practical implementation of the AfCFTA rules of origin finally online

The World Customs Organization (WCO) has published today on its website a Guide for Customs Administrations and economic operators on the practical implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Rules of Origin. This guide is basically a handbook which explains how to apply the Rules of Origin contained in the Annex 2 (and its relevant appendices) of the Protocol on Trade in goods of the AfCFTA Agreement. Already in the end of December 2022 the WCO developed a quick guide specifically addressed to African traders. The purpose of such guide was to help them to better understand the AfCFTA Rules of Origin. The new publication takes up the key points already contained in that guide, but expanding them with more detailed explanations and additional examples on how to determine the origin of goods for the purposes of the AfCFTA preferential tariff treatment, for the use of both private operators and Customs.


World Bank and IAPH launch a step-by-step guide to implementing a PCS

A World Bank report jointly published with the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) offers a step-by-step guide to implementing a Port Community System (PCS) and explains its advantages for developing countries. There is often a confusion between Port Community Systems and Single Windows. While Single Windows are defined as a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single entry point to fulfil all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements, PCS are digital collaborative platforms that enable seamless exchange of information among a port’s many stakeholders, including customs agencies, port management, shipping and logistics companies, and freight forwarders. Keceli et al. more specifically define PCSs as a "computer network which links up the port with all the companies that use it, including hauliers, rail companies, shipping lines, feeder ports, shippers and customs officers". In reality, such platforms are not necessarily designed only for ports, as they can be established for automating and streamlining information flows also at airports, dry ports, land border posts or railway terminals, as explained in our article.


Somalia integration in the East African Community threatened by internal conflicts and insecurity

Somalia accession to the East African Community has become recently a hot topic. A policy note issued by the Economic Research Policy Centre (ERPC), a Ugandan think-tank, questions the ability of Somalia to integrate economically and politically within such Regional Economic Community because of the persisting conflicts and insecurity in the country, that in the latest years have produced spillover insurgencies straining regional relations and resulting in a refugee crisis across regional borders.


AGOA Forum: discussions open amidst criticism about the weaponization of the scheme toward African countries

One of the buzzwords in the recent news on African trade perspectives with third countries is: ‘AGOA’. This is because of the yesterday’s opening of the 20th AGOA Forum 2023, hosted from 1 to 4 November in South Africa (the main beneficiary of such programme), where a senior delegation from the United States and 35 Sub-Saharan Africa Trade Ministers will discuss on how to strengthen trade and investment ties. According to Section 105 of Public Law 106-200 that introduced this trade regime, the President of the United States convenes annual high-level meetings between appropriate officials of the United States Government and officials of the governments of sub-Saharan African countries in order to foster close economic ties between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa. These meetings are organized with events called ‘AGOA Forums’.


New report analyses impact of checkpoints on trade and transport costs in Somalia

A new report published by the Danish Institute for International Studies in partnership with the Rift Valley Institute and XCEPT, analyses the checkpoints on Somali roads that are operated or under the control of both government actors, al-Shabaab armed groups, and other militia in Somalia, focusing in particular on two main trade routes: 1) the Baidoa corridor, a road linking Mogadishu with Kenya and Ethiopia and; 2) the Garissa corridor, a road that connects the port city of Kismayo with the grazing lands of Afmadow (in the southern Somalia, north-west of Kismayo) and north-eastern Kenya.


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