Regional Office for Capacity Building for the World Customs Organization Europe Region

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The WCO conducted a workshop on the Rules of Origin and the implementation of an Advance Ruling system from 16 to 20 May 2022 in Baku, Azerbaijan. This Workshop, requested by the State Customs Committee (SCC) of the Republic of Azerbaijan and sponsored by the Customs Cooperation Fund Germany (CCF/Germany) welcomed twenty-five participants. 

The Workshop focused, in particular, on the core fundamentals of rules of origin, as well as the practical application of the rules and advance rulings for origin, with both playing a vital role in promoting trade facilitation and Customs control through risk management.  

The Chief of the Head Department for Regulation of Customs Tariffs and Payments of the SCC, Major-General Mirgasim Fazil oglu Vahabov, opened the workshop and spoke with satisfaction about the efficient cooperation, lasting for many years, between the WCO and the SCC.  As a clear example of cooperation, he spoke of the value arising from the Vice‑chairmanship of the SCC for WCO Europe Region from 2019-2021. He also indicated the necessity of this training toward the modernization of Customs work and trade facilitation, and showed his support for the WCO programme. He also noted the importance of the establishment of advance ruling system and expected that the workshop would help with improving the correct application of origin related procedures.

The WCO facilitators presented various technical and practical issues for proper origin determination, including the Guidelines on Origin Certification, Preferential Origin Verification and Advance Rulings, which have been designed to assist WCO Members in smoothly running origin related procedures. 

Many participants noted that the session was an eye-opener and that they would raise awareness in Azerbaijan Customs about the importance of correct understanding of rules of origin as well as advance rulings and will lead to a reduction in the number of instances of rules of origin based disputes.

At the meeting with the director of ROCB Europe, Mr. Eser ÇENGEL, WCO experts were informed about the main development priorities in the field of capacity building in the region, the projects implemented by ROCB Europe to ensure institutional development of the Member Administrations.

They also discussed the development of cooperation between the WCO and ROCB Europe at the highest level and the active support of activities to increase the potential for cooperation with the WCO in the mission of developing, promoting and supporting modern customs standards, procedures and systems.

The Workshop concluded successfully with positive feedback from participants who greatly appreciated the insights and experiences shared during the event.