Training sessions to raise awareness on the benefits of the EPA are being conducted
March 18, 2022
A series of training courses funded by the European Union (EU) on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), between the EU and five African countries, namely Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Zimbabwe, was organised between 14th and 18th March 2022.
The Agreement is key for Seychelles traders as it allows their products to be imported into the EU Market duty and quota-free, on condition that they originate from Seychelles and meet specific rules of origin.
The EPA between the EU and the five African countries was ratified by Seychelles in May 2010 and is currently undergoing a comprehensive revision process aimed at expanding its contents to other areas of cooperation.
The purpose of the training was to reinforce the existing skills and competencies on the administration of controlling adherence to the rules that establish if a product can be considered as being of Seychelles origin.
The training was also aimed at increasing the level of knowledge on the main provisions of the EPA Agreement among staff of the Customs Division of the Seychelles Revenue Commission, the Trade Division of the Ministry of Finance, National Planning and Trade, and the Ministry of Investments, Entrepreneurship, and Industry.
Topics covered during the training included the steps for implementation of a system of self-certification of origin called the Registered Exporter (REX) system. This system allows traders in Seychelles to make so-called statements on the origin on invoices or other commercial documents over the current threshold of 6,000 EURO, provided that they will be registered by the Customs Division in a specific traders database.
Similar training is currently being organized in collaboration with the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), for exporters and customs clearing agents to foster the utilization of the EPA, thus helping them to reap the benefits of the Agreement.
The training is being conducted by a Senior Trade and Customs expert, Mr. Danilo Desiderio, who has extensive expertise in Rules of Origin.
It is envisaged that these trainings on the EPA, which are scheduled to take place from 23rd to 24th March 2022, will enable exporters to benefit from the opportunities that this Trade Agreement offers for making Seychelles products more competitive on the EU market.