Events

Southern Africa: Border Agency Cooperation Workshop

November 14-16, 2018

Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers in Cape Town

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A trade facilitation learning event for Southern African countries, Border Agency Cooperation, will be held at the Marriott Hotel Crystal Towers in Cape Town, South Africa from 14 to 16 November 2018. 

  • The purpose of the workshop is to improve border agency cooperation at the national and regional levels as provided in articles 8, 10 and 11 of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Better border agency cooperation can play a key role in facilitating cross-border trade, as it leads to a reduction in time and costs for the import, export and transit of goods.

    Specifically, the workshop will seek to raise awareness on the linkages between the TFA and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, and explore ways in which coordinating border clearance processes can facilitate trade, while ensuring/reinforcing human, animal or plant life and health. Attention will also be given to improving cooperation among border agencies in transit countries.

    Key areas for discussion include:

    • Introduction to TFA and SPS Agreements: what are the linkages and SPS+ provisions
    • How customs and SPS officials can streamline formalities, inspections, etc.
    • Role of National Trade Facilitation Committees: identification of examples of good practice and cooperative reforms.
    • Risk assessment approaches; how SPS and customs officials can share information/data and manage risks cooperatively; risk management tools
    • Explore funding opportunities taking into account challenges such as limited technical capacity in countries, functioning of paper-based systems etc.
    • Category A, B and C commitments under the TFA
    • Explore the potential need for regulatory reforms

    Discussions are expected to generate input for country action plans and help increase TFA notifications relevant to border agency cooperation.

    Participating countries could also agree on specific actions/milestones taking into account their respective experiences, and provide suggestions on the way forward.

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    The event is being organized by the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (WTO TFAF), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Bank Group (WBG).

    Other partners include Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), and the World Customs Organization (WCO).

    More than 80 participants* representing agencies critical to cross-border trade -  including customs authorities, SPS border agencies (National Veterinary Services, National Food Safety Authority, and National Plant Protection Organization), Ministries of Trade, National Trade Facilitation Committees, authorities/departments responsible for transit - and regional and international organizations are expected to attend.

    Participating countries include: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

    *Seven participants from each country

  • DAY 1  

    14 November 2018

    9:00 – 9:30

    Welcome remarks

     

    o    Bill Gain, Global Program Manager Trade Facilitation & Border Management, WBG

    o    Sheri Rosenow, Counsellor, Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility, WTO

     

    9:30 – 10:45

     

    Session 1

     

    Panel

    Opening Plenary Session

     

    Entry into force of the TFA provides opportunities to improve SPS border controls but there is concern that better understanding is needed on both the TF and SPS agreements to facilitate safe trade in agricultural goods. What is the role of customs and SPS agencies at borders? What are the SPS+ provisions of the TFA? What are SPS enquiry points and National Committees for Trade Facilitation?

     

    o    Christiane Wolff, Counsellor and Secretary to the SPS Committee, WTO

     

    o    Anja Wegner, Technical Attaché, WCO

     

    Moderator: Sheri Rosenow, Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility, WTO

     

    10:45 - 11:00

    Coffee

    11:00 – 13:00

     

    Session 2

     

     

    Training

     

     

    (a) Training: TFA for SPS authorities

     

    o    Sheri Rosenow, Counsellor, Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility, WTO (tbc)

     

    o    Anja Wegner, Technical Attaché, World Customs Organization

     

     

    (b) Training: SPS Agreement for Customs authorities

     

    o    Lead: Christiane Wolff, Counsellor and Secretary to the SPS Committee, WTO

    o    Hilda Kruse, Senior Food Standards Officer, Codex

    o    Brent Larson, IPPC Secretariat

    o    Moetapele Letshwenyo, OIE Sub-Regional Representative, SA

    o    Melvin Spreij, Head, STDF

    o    Anja Wegner, Technical Attaché, WCO

     

    13:00 - 14:00

    Lunch

    14:00 – 16:00

     

    Session 3

     

     

    Training

    Facilitating safe trade in food, animals and plants and their products

     

    o    Risk based imported food controls: Catherine Bessy, Food Safety and Quality Officer, FAO

     

    o    Export/import controls from the animal health perspective: Moetapele Letshwenyo, OIE Sub-Regional Representative for Southern Africa

     

    o    How the IPPC helps facilitate safe trade in plants, plant products and regulated articles: Brent Larson, Implementation and Facilitation Unit Leader, IPPC Secretariat

     

    Facilitator: Melvin Spreij, Head, STDF

     

    16:00 – 16:30

     

     

    Lessons learned (Day 1)

     

    Rapporteur:

     

     

    17:00 – 19:00

     

    Social Event, Cape Town Crystal Towers Marriott Hotel

     

    DAY 2

    15 November 2018

    9:00 – 10:30

     

    Session 4

     

    Panel

    International standards for food and agricultural goods in transit

     

    o    OIE standards relevant to transit: Moetapele Letshwenyo, OIE Sub-Regional Representative for Southern Africa

     

    o    Links between the Vienna Programme of Action and TFA: Sandagdorj Erdenebileg, Chief of Policy Coordination, UN-OHRLLS

     

    o    Standards and Trade facilitation: Erich Kieck, Director Capacity Building, ISO

    o    WCO Transit Guidelines: Anja Wegner, Technical Attaché, WCO

    Moderator:

    10:30 -11:00

    Coffee

    11:00 -13:00

     

    Session 5

     

    Training and knowledge sharing

     

    Border agency cooperation at the national level -  good practices and way forward

     

    The TFA calls for Members to establish or maintain single windows. This requires effective communication, information sharing and cooperation among agencies responsible for regulating the export, import and transit of goods at the national level.

     

    Objective:  Working in small groups, participants will be requested to share one example of tools and methods to enhance SPS and customs cooperation at the national level.

     

    Examples of focus areas:

     

    o    Single windows

    o    NTFC and coordination at the national level

    o    Digital tools for information exchange

    o    Risk management

     

    Main trainers from all organisations to participate in this session as resource persons

     

    13:00 – 14:00

    Lunch

    14:00 – 16:00

     

    Session 6

     

    Training and knowledge sharing

     

     

    Border agency cooperation at the regional level – good practices and way forward

     

    The TFA calls for WTO Members to cooperate and coordinate procedures at borders with neighbouring countries. Lack of cooperation at border posts can lead to delays and economic losses.

     

    Objective: Working in small groups, participants will be requested to share one example of tools and methods to enhance SPS and customs cooperation in Southern Africa.

     

    Examples of focus areas:

     

    o    One stop border posts

    o    Electronic exchange

    o    Joint inspections

    o    Other?

     

    Main trainers from all organisations to participate in this session as resource persons

     

    16:00 - 16:30

    Coffee

    16:30 - 17:00

     

     

    Lessons learned (Day 2)

     

    Rapporteur:

     

    DAY 3

    16 November 2018

    9:00 -10:00

     

    Session 7

     

    Information and training

     

    Information: Technical assistance: preparing TFA notifications

     

    Discuss notifications, technical assistance and implementation of the TFA. What are category A, B and C notifications? How to submit notifications?

     

    o    Sheri Rosenow: Counsellor, Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility, WTO

     

    10:00 – 11:30

     

    Session 8

     

    Information

    Information: Preparing action plans and funding requests

     

    o    Shane Sela, Senior Trade Facilitation Specialist, WBG

     

    o    Mark Henderson, Economic Affairs Officer, Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility, WTO

     

    o    Melvin Spreij, Head, STDF

     

    Moderator:

     

    11:30 -12:00

     

     

    Lessons learned and closing remarks

     

    12:00

    Lunch