The seminar brought together some 50 Hanoi-based and provincial officials from public and non-public entities involved in the certification and verification of preferential rules of origin. These included the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam, the Viet Nam Customs Authority, the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VNCCI), the Hanoi Export Processing and Industrial Zones, and industry and exporters' associations in such sectors as leather and footwear.
The objective of the seminar was to help participants better understand substantive and administrative aspects of preferential rules of origin, so that the country's exports and imports can make effective use of preferential trade opportunities available under preferential trade arrangements affecting Viet Nam, such as the General System of Preferences (GSP) and free trade and economic partnership agreements (FTAs/EPAs) being negotiated and concluded by the country.
Participants at the Seminar, Hanoi, Viet Nam
As preferential trade arrangements have become a defining feature of today's international trade, and as Viet Nam is involved in such arrangements, preferential rules of origin are increasingly relevant for the country.
However, government officials responsible for rules of origin often face the challenge of effectively applying rules in practice and managing the system of origin certification and verification.
Since the failure to comply with these rules can result in commercial losses for both importers and exporters, adequate application of rules is a matter of interest to all stakeholders. The seminar was intended to help them better deliver this important function.
Various sessions of the seminar were delivered by MOIT, Viet Nam's Customs Authority, UNCTAD and Japan Customs, addressing substantive and procedural topics relating to preferential rules of origin under GSP and FTAs/EPAs, including case studies, self-certification and advance ruling systems.
The seminar was jointly organized by UNCTAD and Japan Customs in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam under UNCTAD's trust fund project "Assistance to countries of the Asian region on MFN and preferential tariff negotiations and GSP utilization (RAS9X78R)" financed by Japan.