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Transposition of Tariff Commitments in Preparation for RCEP

6 April 2021

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 Vientiane, 6 April 2021: A two-day online training and discussion around the Transposition of Tariff Commitment from ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature (AHTN) 2012 into 2017 was held virtually on 5-6 April 2021. This activity, for Lao Government officials, is to support preparations for the anticipated implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The training was organised by ERIA’s Capacity Building Programme following a request from Mme Khemmani Pholsena, former Minister at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC). Co-hosted by the MOIC, the training was facilitated by expert on this topic and former ASEAN Secretariat official, Mr Ahmad Syaukat Romawi. Ten government officials - from various departments including the Department of Foreign Trade Policy, Import and Export, and Customs, actively involved in the transposition process, participated in this online event.

Opening remarks was conveyed by Mr Santisouk Phounesvath, Deputy Director General at the MOIC’s Department of Foreign Trade Policy. Mr Santisouk Phounesvath noted the importance of this training for Lao PDR to gain a better understanding of the methodology as well as policy decisions concerning how and when to merge tariff lines with different tariff rates. Mr Somphone Phady, Deputy Director at the Trade in Goods Division Department led the discussion with the participating government officials. Mr Jeremy Gross, ERIA Director of Capacity Building, in his opening comments, highlighted ERIA’s commitment to support Lao PDR government officials through its mandate to support ASEAN regional trade facilitation.

On the first day of the training, the trainer explained the four options of the WTO methodology for applying tariff rates when merging tariff lines with different tariff rates. Participants also focused on how to copy the data in Lao PDR’s RCEP Tariff Reduction (TRS) into the Modified AHTN Correlation Table. On the second day, the trainer examined the transposition of RCEP Product Specific Rules (PSR) from the information of Harmonised System (HS) 2012 into 2017.

ERIA’s ongoing Capacity Building Programme is supported by the Australian Government.

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