unctad.org | Seventh Meeting of the African Continental Free Trade Area Technical Working Group on Rules of Origin
Seventh Meeting of the African Continental Free Trade Area Technical Working Group on Rules of Origin
30 July - 11 August 2018
African Union Commission
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Key Issues

​Background

Extended technical assistance was requested by the African Union Commission (AUC) following the contribution of a team from the Technical Cooperation and Enhanced Integrated Framework Section of the UNCTAD Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes (ALDC) during the 5th and 6th Meetings of the Technical Working Group on Rules of Origin (TWG) in February and May 2018.

Objective

The objective of the 7th TWG Meeting held from 30th July – 11th August 2018 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was to draft the text of Appendix IV on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Rules of Origin (RoO), based on the template and methodology agreed at the 6th Meeting.

Main Results

The TWG deliberated on rules for Chapters 1 through 49 and 64 through 81. The TWG also deliberated on outstanding issues in Annex 2 of RoO.

In accordance with the request from the AUC, the Meeting was preceded by a two-day technical, capacity-building Workshop delivered by the UNCTAD team, composed of two staff members with expertise on RoO.

The content of the Workshop covered the following topics:

  • An overview of the AfCFTA Origin Criteria and challenges ahead;
  • The presentation of a “Technical Note on the Ad Valorem Percentage Criteria”;
  • Drafting methodologies of the Ad Valorem Percentage Criteria;
  • Multilateral rules in the WCO Kyoto Conventions and Agreements on Rules of Origin;
  • Different methodologies of drafting Ad Valorem Percentage Criteria;
  • Determination of the value of non-originating materials and issues related to customs valuation in relation to RoO;
  • The deduction of the cost of transport and insurance from the value of non-originating materials;
  • Best practices and lessons learned in drafting Ad Valorem Percentage Criteria;
  • Issues arising from the draft Appendix of Hybrid AfCFTA RoO; and
  • Value tolerance, cumulation, and absorption principle.

Training materials, advisory memoranda, technical notes and briefings were developed by UNCTAD, including:

  • An extensive study (in both French and English) on the methodologies of drafting Ad Valorem Percentage Criterion; 
  • African trade statistics, along with an explanatory note; and
  • A document on legal definitions.

In addition, throughout the AfCFTA Rules of Origin negotiating process, the UNCTAD team delivered tailor-made technical assistance upon the request of the AUC Secretariat and Member States, by providing technical clarifications and facilitating consensus building.  For example: 

  • UNCTAD was formally requested by the Chairperson to directly intervene and provide technical advice, clarifications, and guide negotiations on technical matters;
  • UNCTAD received a special request from the delegations of Mauritania, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic to strengthen support and deliver additional assistance. UNCTAD addressed the request by preparing materials and delivering an additional training session in French.
  • Consultations were held with Mauritius, Egypt, South Africa, Sudan, Senegal, Algeria, Mauritania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Togo and Morocco. For each delegation, specific concerns were discussed, and technical inputs were provided.
  • Consultations were held with Mauritius, Egypt, South Africa, Sudan, Senegal, Algeria, Mauritania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Togo and Morocco. For each delegation, specific concerns were discussed, and technical inputs were provided.
  • Consultations and technical inputs were provided to Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and partners such as ECOWAS, ECCAS, SACU and IGAD.

The meeting was attended by delegates from Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, eSwatini, United Republic of Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The meeting was also attended by officials from the African Union Commission (AUC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), as well as the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The Workshop and technical assistance were delivered in both English and French. Simultaneous translation during formal sessions was provided in Arabic, English, French, and Portuguese.

Co-organized with:African Union Commission
Language(s):English; French; Arabic; Portuguese;
Contact:
Mr. Stefano Inama
 
Related Sites:

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African Union Commission
https://au.int/

 

 

 

For more information on UNCTAD's work, please see: http://www.unctad.org/ALDC.

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