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The AfCFTA and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) join forces to operationalise the liberalisation of trade

Brussels, 15th February 2022: Today, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat and the World Customs Organisation (WCO), aimed at operationalising the tariff schedules and ensuring additional free and efficient movement of goods in Africa.

The MoU was signed in Brussels, Belgium, by H.E. Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, and the Secretary-General of the WCO, H.E. Kunio Mikuriya.

The AfCFTA Secretariat and the WCO are united in their shared goal of increasing prosperity in Africa through the liberalisation of trade on the Continent. This MoU represents the next logical step for the two organisations as they work to reduce barriers to trade across Africa by connecting Customs systems, populating the AfCFTA Tariff Book and providing capacity building for Customs officials and administration. The collaboration is set to capacitate the AfCFTA with:

  1. technological systems that would allow standardization of data and connectivity of Customs systems
  2. a developed AfCFTA E -Tariff-Book;
  3. enhanced skills and expertise of Customs officials in operationalising the AfCFTA;
  4. migration of all AfCFTA Member States to HS 2022;
  5. effective start of trading using the AfCFTA tariff Book

The agreement will allow the two organisations to work together and support each other as they address logistical challenges whilst seeking to implement programmes and develop trade across Africa.

Mr. Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, said: “The MoU would enable the WCO to partner with the AfCFTA in ensuring that Customs Administrations are fully equipped to implement the AfCFTA Agreement.”

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Grace Khoza – Principal Communications Advisor
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