4th ORDINARY MEETING OF THE AU SUB-COMMITTEE OF DIRECTORS GENERAL OF CUSTOMS GETS UNDERWAY
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, September 4, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The 4th Ordinary Meeting of the African Union (AU) Sub-Committee of Directors General of Customs kicked off today with the opening of the Experts Meeting to be held until September 5th 2012 at the new AU Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Experts work session will evaluate the activities of the AUC Customs Division, receive the work program of the Regional Economic Communities (AUC/RECs) relating to the Strategic Plan 2014 – 2017 as well as consider the implementation of the January 2012 Decision on “Boosting Intra-African Trade” with aims to submit recommendations to the Sub-Committee of Directors General of Customs which will convene from September 6-7, 2012.
Welcoming all participants, the AUC Director of Trade and Industry, Mrs Treasure Maphanga reiterated the need to build a solid continental trade facilitation and simplification framework and emphasized the importance of fast tracking its implementation.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Nebiyou Samuel, representative of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) speaking on behalf of Minister Melaku Fenta highlighted that “Since the AU has initiated the project of creating a Continental Free Trade Area as a major tool for boosting Intra-African Trade, the Sub-Committee of the Directors General of Customs has become an institutional political organ and in the same time an essential component for the development and implementation of the project”.
The meeting will take note and consider various technical working group reports on key issues such as Transit, Interconnectivity of Computerized Customs Clearance Systems, Rules of Origin as well as Ethics and the Fight Against Corruption. It is in this context that the experts will draft recommendations and a Framework of Action that will be submitted to the Sub-Committee of Directors General for consideration.
The three (3) day work session is chaired by Mr. Mark Van Den Broek from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and attended by Customs representatives of Member States, RECs as well as other key international stakeholders.