Amid the active engagement of Members in the BACUDA project through the development of their own version of analytic models, Azerbaijan Customs shared encouraging news for Members’ journey toward a data-driven organization. Under the guidance of the Chairman of the Azerbaijan Customs and inspired by the BACUDA algorithms, A graduate from the BACUDA Scholarship program at Azerbaijan Customs has created an advanced AI Harmonized System (HS) tool. the tool introduces innovative features that augment its utility and efficiency. The model has been trained on over 1.6 million Azerbaijan Customs data points since 2022, achieving an impressive accuracy of approximately 85% for 6-digit HS codes and 82% for 10-digit codes. Notably, it even exceeds 95% accuracy for 11 specific chapters where more data is available. Enhancing the model's accuracy is a critical focus of its ongoing development. This will be achieved by enriching it with large volumes of high-quality data, particularly in the chapters where current accuracy levels are suboptimal.
Under the framework of the EU-WCO Rules of Origin Africa Programme, funded by the European Union (EU), the World Customs Organization (WCO), in partnership with Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), held a national training workshop on rules of origin in Blantyre, Malawi, from 16-20 October 2023, with the participation of Customs officials from different units and border stations within the Customs Services department. The aim of this workshop was to support MRA in strengthening their understanding and application of preferential rules of origin. This effort is intended to smooth the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and relevant Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). In his opening remarks, Deputy Commissioner of Customs-Facilitation, Mr. Cornelius Kakwesa, expressed gratitude to the WCO and the EU for bolstering expertise on rules of origin. He underscored the significance of these rules in international trade. Mr. Kakwesa urged participants to use this training as a platform for deepening their understanding of the rules of origin. He also highlighted that MRA is on the path to implementing Advanced Rulings.
On 31 October 2023, Indonesia notified the WTO's Committee on Safeguards that it initiated on 27 October four safeguard investigations. The subject products are: (i) artificial filament yarn, (ii) cotton fabric, (iii) cotton yarn, and (iv) woven fabrics of artificial filament yarn.
On 26 October 2023, Madagascar notified the WTO's Committee on Safeguards that it initiated on 25 October 2023 a safeguard investigation on diapers and sanitary napkins.
On 8 November 2023, Türkiye notified the WTO's Committee on Safeguards that it initiated on 3 November 2023 a safeguard investigation on wire rods.
An Import Licensing Notification Portal was launched on 31 October at a meeting of the Committee on Import Licensing Procedures. The platform allows members to draft and submit notifications online. Members also reviewed 42 notifications submitted since the last meeting of the Committee and discussed several specific trade concerns about import licensing regimes. The WTO Secretariat held an information session on the Agreement on Import Licensing Procedures for new delegates following the meeting of the Committee.
The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) agreed at its meeting on 26 October to a request from Argentina for the establishment of a dispute panel to review anti-dumping duties imposed by the United States on oil country tubular goods (OCTG) imported from Argentina. WTO members also considered a request from Indonesia for a panel to review countervailing duties imposed by the European Union on biodiesel imports from Indonesia. The EU said it was not in a position to accept Indonesia's request.