unctad.org | Sixth Meeting of the African Continental Free Trade Area Technical Working Group on Rules of Origin
Sixth Meeting of the African Continental Free Trade Area Technical Working Group on Rules of Origin
23 - 28 April 2018
African Union Commission
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Key Issues

The objective of the meeting was to draft the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Appendix on Product-Specific Rules of Origin. In this regard the meeting developed a template and agreed on the methodology for the drafting of Appendix IV to Annex 2 on Rules of Origin (RoO). The Technical Working Group on Rules of Origin (TWG) also deliberated on outstanding issues in Annex 2 on RoO. The draft Appendix would serve as the basis for national consultations in preparation for the next TWG meeting.

The TWG worked on drafting the template that was proposed by the African Union Commission (AUC) as a base from which they could start proposing the AfCFTA Rules of Origin.

The TWG agreed to draft the template in a consultative format on the possible HS Chapter Rules and to indicate exceptions to such Chapter Rules across all the 97 Chapters of the HS 2017 version. The Chapter Rules would take the form of General Rules that would apply across each Chapter, while product-specific rules would be assigned to exceptional headings or sub-headings of each Chapter. The matrix would then be used for national consultations after which firm decisions will be taken during the next TWG meeting. General Chapter Rules were proposed for all the 97 Chapters of the HS and 738 HS headings and sub-headings were identified for possible product-specific rules.

Following the UNCTAD’s first training for the TWG in February 2018, further guidance on drafting RoO was provided throughout the meeting on the above-mentioned topics. In addition, advanced training on in-depth, technical tools developed by UNCTAD, using utilization rates and an input output matrix, was also provided to the participants.

The meeting was attended by delegates from Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia. The meeting was also attended by officials from the African Union Commission (AUC), the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), the East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), 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 English. Simultaneous translation during sessions was available in Arabic, English, French, and Portuguese.  

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