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IDB and WTO co-organize Regional Workshops

on the Harmonized System 2017

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - Under the sponsorship of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) through the Japanese Special fund, two Regional Workshops were held on the Harmonized System (HS) 2017 amendments for the Administrations of the North, South, Central American and the Caribbean Region in the Regional Training Center "Juan Bosh" from 6 to 10 June (in English) and from 13 to 17 June (in Spanish), respectively. The Workshops were organized jointly by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the IDB and the Customs Administration of Dominican Republic and were attended by 40 officials from 22 Customs administrations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The opening of both Workshops were officiated by Gabino Jose Polanco, Deputy Technical Director of the Dominican Republic Customs who emphasized the importance of the correct tariff classification of goods and encouraged the participants to take advantage of these high level workshops.

The Workshops’s main focus was to secure uniformity in the interpretation and application of the HS Nomenclature 2017 Edition by Customs administrations of the Region. Furthermore, the Workshops offered an opportunity to discuss the tools recently developed by the WCO in the context of Phase II of the Revenue Package to support administrations in their efforts to modernize their tariff classification work and related infrastructure and to ensure fair, efficient and effective revenue collection.

All the participating administrations were given an opportunity to report on the progress with regard to the preparatory work to implement the HS 2017 amendments and to describe their situation as regards the organization of classification work. The most common difficulty faced by the Administrations that attended the Workshops was reported to be the technical IT problems arising from the implementation of the changes at the national level.

Like all regional WCO gatherings, the Workshop provided an excellent opportunity for networking and exchange of views on a wide range of practice-oriented topics on tariff classification and management of tariff and statistical nomenclatures, and was highly appreciated by those who attended it.

In his closing address, Polanco thanked the WCO, the IDB and the Japanese Administration for their assistance for the organization of the Seminars. He encouraged all participants to share the knowledge acquired during the Workshops and, again, emphasized the importance of the correct use and application of the HS.

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