A Sub-regional WCO Workshop on Customs valuation and HS classification was held from 24 to 28 June 2019 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. The Workshop was hosted by the State Customs Committee of Kazakhstan under the sponsorship of the USAID Competitiveness, Trade and Jobs Activity in Central Asia, with a view to supporting the central Asian countries in the areas of Customs valuation and HS classification.
51 officials from the Customs Administrations of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and the Eurasian Economic Commission participated in the Workshop. In his greeting speech, Mr. Omirzak Beispekov, Deputy Chairman of the State Revenue Committee of Kazakhstan, noted that with the development of world trade, Customs Administrations are facing a number of challenges in the areas of classification and valuation. He thanked the WCO for providing guidelines and instruments in these areas and encouraged active participation and experience sharing during the Workshop.
The WCO representative and the WCO expert from the General Administration of China Customs (GACC) facilitated the Workshop. The first two days of the workshop were dedicated to HS classification during which the HS Convention, HS tools, the General Interpretative Rules, the Amendments to the HS Nomenclature 2017 Edition and the WCO Guidelines on Customs Infrastructure for Tariff classification were covered, followed by three days on Customs valuation. With regard to Customs valuation, the facilitator introduced the principles of the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement and instruments of the Technical Committee on Customs Valuation as well as the WCO tools on the Revenue Package.
Four Customs Administrations presented in their country reports the challenges being faced in the implementation of the HS Convention. The participants learned about the practices of other Customs Administrations regarding advanced rulings, risk management and dispute settlements. They also examined case studies on specific classification and valuation issues encountered in their daily work and applied the knowledge and tools learned from the Workshop to these cases.
This capacity building initiative undertaken by the WCO and the Customs Administration of Kazakhstan was well appreciated by the participants.