From 10 to 12 March the World Customs Organization (WCO) brought together, virtually, an unprecedented number of experts, users and researchers in the field of origin for its Second Global Origin Conference. This event was organised with the financial support of the Korean Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF-Korea).
With over 1 300 registered participants from around the globe, and 27 speakers from Customs administrations, international organisations, the private sector and academia, the Conference offered a good opportunity to hear and discuss a wide range of viewpoints and experiences on the topic of origin.
Participants and speakers actively joined the discussions to advance understanding of the current situation with respect to Rules of Origin (RoO) and related challenges. They also exchanged views on what could be done to further facilitate the use of RoO so as to support economic development and trade, while still ensuring the correct application of preferential and non-preferential treatments to ensure the fulfilment of underlying policy objectives.
The current relevance of regional integration as a driving force of global supply chain and the increased importance of RoO was emphasised from the outset of the conference by the WCO’s Secretary General.
During the event, diverse aspects of RoO were covered such as regional integration and its impact on the global economy; the impact of non-preferential RoO; the RoO update to reflect the latest edition of the HS; the work on the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) and other WCO tools in which origin matters arise; the implications of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Nairobi Decision on preferential RoO for the Least Developed Countries (LDC); and the future outlook as regards RoO.
Through the sessions, participants gained a deep understanding of the following topics: challenges faced by trade professionals when seeking to apply RoO; current progress and future actions in implementing preferential RoO; development of international guidelines and standards related to implementing RoO, especially through the RKC Review process; and latest efforts by Member administrations and relevant stakeholders to address the different issues.
Story by: Riaan de Lange