WCO National Workshop for Malaysia on Rules of Origin


WCO National Workshop for Malaysia on Rules of Origin

Reported by Mr. Yuichiro OKUMURA 
Deputy Head
ROO (Rules of Origin) Center
Japan Customs

As a Japanese expert on Rules of Origin, I joined WCO National Workshop for Malaysia on Rules of Origin held at the Royal Malaysian Customs Academy (AKMAL, WCO Regional Training Center), Malaysia, from 12 to 16 January 2015.

The main objective of this workshop is to train prospective trainers with focus on the core fundamentals of Rules of Origin. During the Workshop, I was really impressed with their contribution to the success of the workshop and strong motivation to develop the origin administration in Malaysian Customs. The noteworthy output of the workshops was a better understanding on implementation of rules of origin, through sharing the knowledge and case studies as to origin certification, verification and the relevant procedures. This workshop also provided a valuable opportunity to share the WCO tools and international trends related to Rules of Origin as well as the aspects of practical application in Japan as one of the WCO members. In this regard, the program was balanced and beneficial for both policy makers and frontline officers from Malaysian Customs (and of course a great opportunity for myself!).

I strongly believe that the value of proper implementation of rules of origin, and reliable procedures for these rules, has been increasing under the global proliferation of Free Trade Agreements. For example, Malaysia is currently under preparation for implementing approved exporter self-certification in ASEAN-wide FTA. Japan has started implementing the rules and procedures for newly introduced importer self-certificationinJapan-Australia EPA. In this context, the necessity of experts equipped with the knowledge and experiences on Rules of Origin is broadening in order to respond properly to the needs and development of Customs Administrations. Moreover, origin determination cannot be made without appropriate HS code and customs values of goods.The knowledge on HS and Valuation can be fully utilized becauseRules of Origin should be deeply connected with these fields

Needless to say, the proliferation of FTAs has great impacts on customs operation and international trade, withthe private sector highly appreciating the commercial opportunities. Rules of Origin is an growing and dynamic field where customs enthusiastically take part in to facilitate international trade while properly collecting duties and taxes. What motivated me to join the technical cooperationin this field is to expose myself to such dynamism and to have a sense of contribution to efforts made by Customs Administrations in the world for further reform and modernization of Customs capacity. While one step is not big enough to change dramatically, it could be the tip for the “big change.” I could not be happier if you could feel how vibrant the field of Rules of Origin is.