The Namibia Revenue Agency (NAMRA) officially launched the Advanced Ruling System on Tuesday, which gives guidelines on the import of export of goods.
The system is part of NamRA’s obligation in fulfilling its international commitment contained in the World Trade Organisation Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
It is a binding official decision issued by a competent Customs Authority in writing, which provides the applicant with a time-bound assessment on the goods to be imported or exported.
According to the EU Ambassador to Namibia, Sinikka Antila at the official Launch of the Advance Ruling Programme this is a critical trade enabler and is one of 13 WTO Trade Facilitation (TF) measures, but very important and needs to be implemented before mid-2023.
She further commended the agency, national authorities and WCO on the launch which she said will reduce the time and cost of moving goods and enhance Namibia’s competitiveness in national, regional and international markets.
‘’Tariff classification allows us to have a common language in trade, the 6 common digits provide us with a common denominator that allows for mutual recognition of products, making trade and business for that matter easier and faster. This is one of 13 WTO Trade Facilitation (TF) measures, but very important and needs to be implemented before mid-2023. Namibia is well-advanced on this, thanks to support from the EU-World Customs Organization Programme for Harmonized System in Africa,’’ she said.
She said this programme is a five million Euro multi-stakeholder initiative, funded by the EU under the Pan African (PANAF) envelope and implemented by the World Customs Organisation.
NamRA has three forms of advance rulings namely an advance binding ruling on classification, valuation and origin.
According to NamRA’s Commissioner Sam Shivute they endeavour to provide the rulings within 30 days of receiving a request completed correctly of which the general the rulings are valid for 3 years.
‘’An advance ruling on classification, origin or valuation is an official written binding assessment on a specific product issued by the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) upon a formal request by an importer/exporter or other interested person concerning, classification of goods, origin and the treatment which should be applied on a certain element of the Customs value, prior to an import or export transaction, for a specified period,’’ he said.
Additionally, ‘’valuation, classification or origin ruling assists importers with specific issues relating to the assessment of customs value, tariff classification and origin of imported or exported goods,’’
Meanwhile, in terms of governance and administration of the policy, the implementation of this policy shall be the collective responsibility of the various Departments, Divisions and stakeholders of NamRA, with the necessary support of Management.
‘’It is nevertheless necessary to establish a Harmonised Systems, Tariff, Valuation and
Origin of goods (HSTVO) Committee(s) who will consider and recommend the approval of the rulings by the Commissioner.’’