UNCTAD, together with Japan’s customs authorities, conducted a national seminar on preferential rules of origin in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on 9-11 June.
The seminar brought together 20 officials involved in the certification and verification of preferential rules of origin, as well as representatives taking part in the ongoing negotiations over the Japan-Mongolia Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
This EPA is the first reciprocal preferential trade agreement to be concluded in Mongolia. Officials in the country expressed their wish to enhance their understanding of preferential rules of origin. Mongolia is a beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)strengthening the knowledge on the GSP rules of origin is desirable. Failure to comply with preferential rules of origin can result in commercial losses for both importers and exporters, adequate application of rules is therefore important for all stakeholders.
The seminar aims to address the concerns of the Mongolian officials, build their capacity, and provide an opportunity to discuss with participants a wide range of issues, including the concept and management of preferential rules of origin, organizational matters with respect to customs management, and the implications of origin rules on development.
Various sessions of the seminar were delivered by the Customs General Administration of Mongolia (CGA), the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI), and representatives of UNCTAD and Japan Customs, addressing substantive and procedural aspects of preferential rules of origin used for the existing EPAs with Japan and the GSP. The seminar devoted substantial time to examples and exercises in determining origins and managing customs operations. Participants enthusiastically engaged in the seminar.
Officials from the CGA and the MNCCI, as well as those from the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture of Mongolia, participated in the seminar.
The seminar was jointly organized by UNCTAD and Japan Customs in cooperation with the CGA and the MNCC under UNCTAD's trust fund project "Assistance to countries of the Asian region on MFN and preferential tariff negotiations and GSP utilization". The Government of Japan financed the project.