- Successful Webinar on African Continental Free Trade Area Rules of Origin Organized by EABC and WCO
- AfCFTA Rules of Origin (RoO) covering 88.3% of tariff lines have been agreed upon.
Friday, 12th May 2023 Arusha, Tanzania: East African Business Council is delighted to announce the successful completion of the webinar on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Rules of Origin, which took place yesterday. The webinar, organized by the East African Business Council (EABC) in collaboration with the World Customs Organization (WCO) through the European Union-WCO African Rules of Origin Programme, convened over 200 businesses from East Africa and the continent.
In his opening remarks, Mr. John Bosco Kalisa said, “AfCFTA Rules of Origin will promote the ‘Made in Africa’ campaign.”
He stated that Rules of Origin should be flexible, predictable, and simple for SMEs to trade in the 1.2 billion AfCFTA market.
“Rules of Origin should integrate continental value chains of agroprocessing, automotive, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and transport and logistics to boost intra-Africa trade,” said Mr. Kalisa.
Mr Sagoh Djete,Project Manager ,Regional Cooperation-Infrastruction,EU Delegation to Tanzania and EAC retairated European Union’s commitment to promote free movement of goods in EAC and Continent.
The webinar equipped 200 businesses from the East African Community (EAC) with the necessary skills and knowledge on the technical and administrative aspects of the AfCFTA Rules of Origin to seize opportunities provided by the preferential trade regime under AfCFTA.
In her presentation, Unami Tlhole, Origin Expert, EU-WCO RoO Africa Programme, said that as of February 2023, 46 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification of the AfCFTA Agreement. She explained that 36 Tariff Offers, including three (3) Customs Unions (EAC, ECOWAS, and CEMAC), have been technically verified, and Rules of Origin (RoO) covering 88.3% of tariff lines have been agreed upon.
Rules of Origin are rules and regulations that determine the “economic nationality” of a product. AfCFTA Rules of Origin are found in the Protocol on Trade in Goods’ Annex 2 on Rules of Origin and Appendix IV to Annex 2. Experts in the field shared valuable insights during the webinar, covering essential topics and addressing common challenges faced by businesses in complying with the AfCFTA Rules of Origin.
The AfCFTA Rules of Origin (RoO) will attract more Foreign Direct Investments, offer opportunities for SMEs to engage in regional value chains, provide preferential market access (No Quotas; waived duties; competitive prices), reduce the cost of doing business through self-certification by MSMEs (< USD5,000), and approved exporters. This will foster economic transformation of the continent through industrialization.
To qualify for AfCFTA Rules of Origin (RoO), businesses should know the criteria for tariff liberalization, types of proof of origin, the country’s designated competent authority, registration procedures, and procedures for the issuance of proof of origin.