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TAF2+ Program Supports Timor-Leste Capacity in Rules of origin legislation News

23 February, 2024

The Government of Timor-Leste is currently formulating the necessary legal instruments to legislate Rules of origin (ROO) requirements to support the country’s compliance with the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA). Rules of origin determine in which country a product was sourced or made – its ‘economic nationality’ – and help ensure that customs authorities apply lower duties correctly so that businesses can fully benefit from free trade agreement provisions.

Cowater International is supporting the Government of Timor-Leste in their efforts to meet the requirements for membership in ATIGA. On February 15, Cowater successfully concluded a comprehensive 5-day ROO training program in Dili, Timor-Leste. This initiative is a critical component of the Trade and Advocacy Fund 2 Plus (TAF2+) Program, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

The training brought together 33 ministry officials and legal staff from the Directorate General of Commerce, Industry, as well as the Customs Authority and was strategically designed to augment the capabilities of Timor-Leste’s ROO Committee. Its primary objectives were to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of ROO requirements and to build their competencies related to the ATIGA ROO Chapter 3 and its relevant annexes. The training aimed to empower committee members to identify the most suitable approach and potential provisions for Timor-Leste’s preferential ROO legislation.

To enrich the learning experience, the capacity building initiative incorporated a knowledge-sharing component. Insights were drawn from the experiences of other ASEAN Member States (AMS) in legislating preferential ROO schemes, particularly within the framework of ATIGA.

The recent training will be complemented by additional technical assistance to support the drafting of ROO legislation to support Timor-Leste alignment with ATIGA provisions.


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