Argentina initiates WTO dispute complaint targeting Peruvian duties on biodiesel imports

Argentina has requested WTO dispute consultations with Peru concerning anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by Peru on imports of biodiesel from Argentina. The request was circulated to WTO members on 6 September.

Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) Aligns Organizational Restructuring Through the Implementation of the Competency- Based HRM

The Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) has identified as part of its strategic plan, key priority areas that aim toimprove performance management, enhance staff engagement, improve border management, and strengthen strategic partnerships to promote voluntary compliance thereby maximizing revenue collection and trade facilitation which is the ultimate mandate. To support BURS achieve these milestones, the WCO through the financial support of the Sida-WCO Trade Facilitation and Customs Modernization (TFCM) programme, under the flagship of its Executive and Professional Competency-Based HRM Programme (EPCB-HRMP), conducted a diagnostic and capacity building mission on the competency-based HRM approach from August 15 -19, 2022 in Gaborone, Botswana. The main objective of the mission was to identify areas of development and opportunity for people capacity building within BURS and building the capacity of the HRM Working group through an established diagnostic process- leveraging WCO People Development Diagnostic Tool (PDDT), the WCO guide to implementing Competency-Based HRM system in the Customs environment, and the competency-based HRM tools (job catalogue, competency framework, competency dictionary, and competency-based job descriptions).

GTFP assistance to the Customs Administration of Serbia to enhance its AEO programme

Within the framework of the WCO-SECO Global Trade Facilitation Programme (GTFP), WCO-accredited AEO experts from Denmark and India provided capacity building assistance to the Customs Administration of Serbia (CAS) to enhance its AEO programme in alignment with the SAFE Framework of Standards and WTO TFA Article 7.7. The mission was delivered from 5 to 9 September 2022 as part of a blended activity that began in July 2022 with two virtual technical meetings with the Serbian AEO team with the overall objective to develop and implement an AEO strategy and an action plan to enhance the AEO programme to reach out to all traders. During the week the WCO experts held sessions with the Serbian AEO team, other CAS officials from IT, Risk Management, Communication and HR, and private sector participants representing both AEO and non-AEO companies. This approach helped set up channels to receive and include their input in the drafting of the strategy. A visit to an inland Customs terminal in Belgrade provided insight into an actual implementation of the AEO concept in practice. An important achievement from this mission was the conclusion of the final draft of an AEO strategy and recommendations for further improving the action plan and communication strategy designed to disseminate the benefits of the AEO programme among traders.

SADC launches Electronic Certificate of Origin

Upon the invitation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), The World Customs Organization participated in the launch of the SADC electronic Certificate of Origin held under the theme “Enhancing trade facilitation through the SADC Electronic Certificate of Origin” on 6-7 September 2022 in Blantyre, Malawi. The meeting was held in a hybrid format and was attended by Commissioners of piloting Customs administrations from Eswatini, Malawi, and Zambia as well as Trade Experts from partner organisations such as WCO ESA -ROCB, the WCO, EU and the GIZ, among others.

Türkiye states intention to implement findings in pharmaceuticals dispute with EU

At a meeting of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on 29 August, Türkiye stated its intention to implement the recommendations and rulings of the arbitrators and the panel in its dispute with the European Union regarding certain Turkish measures concerning the production, importation and marketing of pharmaceutical products (DS583).

WCO and WHO cooperation enhanced through the signing of a new cooperation agreement

On 5 September 2022, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) signed an updatedMemorandum of Understanding (MoU) enhancing the existing cooperation between the two organizations. The updated MoU places special focus on the sharing of information on the illicit trade of substandard or falsified medical products as well as on the WHO global surveillance and monitoring system. It also provides for the WHO’s involvement in the work to classify the new International Non-proprietary Names (INNs) for the substances designated under the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS Convention).

WTO Chairs Programme sees launch of trade capacity-building activities in Ecuador

Trade capacity-building activities under the WTO Chairs Programme were launched at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (UASB) in Quito, Ecuador, on 14 September. Opening the high-level event, WTO Deputy Director-General Anabel González said: “We are proud to have grown this global network of academic institutions to 36 Chairs, including eight institutions in Latin America. In joining the Programme, Ecuador brings new momentum and fresh perspectives to the most pressing trade issues facing the Latin American region.

WCO diagnostic mission on Customs valuation in Uzbekistan

At the request of the State Customs Committee of Uzbekistan (SCC), the WCO conducted a diagnostic mission from 9 to 12 August 2022 with the aim to analyse the existing Customs valuation practices in Uzbekistan and make recommendations for its reform and modernization. This mission, supported by the ROCB Europe, was carried out by two experts from the WCO Secretariat. The four-day mission consisted of an evaluation of the present infrastructure and practices on Customs valuation in Uzbekistan. Several meetings with the officials of the SCC working on Customs valuation and its control, including valuation, risk management, post clearance audit, legal affairs, human resources and training, were held. The team also met with the association of declarants and visited the Ark-bulak clearance office.

WTO: Items proposed for consideration at the next meeting of Dispute Settlement Body

The WTO Secretariat has circulated a meeting notice and list of items proposed for the next meeting, on 23 September 2022, of the Dispute Settlement Body, which consists of all WTO members and oversees legal disputes among them. The meeting notice is circulated in the form of a document officially called an “airgram”.

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