Trade Facilitation - Belgium
In early 2009, the Minister of Development Cooperation Charles Michel signed a partnership agreement with the East African Community (EAC). Besides Kenya, four partner countries of Belgian Development Cooperation belong to this regional economic community: Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania. The south-south trade could become an essential instrument for the region’s development. Belgium – together with its British counterparts – is helping Burundi, in particular, to integrate its economy into the EAC.
The Antwerp/Flanders Port Training Center (APEC) runs a series of training programmes in port management. Its standard training activities include 14 management sessions and seminars of 2 weeks each and cover a broad range of port-related topics. APEC provides specific tailor-made courses, based on partner countries’ needs and requests, and organizes tailor-made study visits (1/2 day to 2 days). Recently, it introduced a new concept: lectures abroad, where an APEC expert tackles specific topics during a short seminar session abroad. Through its cooperation with the Flemish Community, the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) and the Province of Antwerp, APEC has established a broad system of scholarships. The Flemish Community offers scholarships for the APEC programmes to candidates from all of its partner countries worldwide (see website scholarship section for details). These scholarships enable candidates from around the world to find the professional course of their choice in Flanders. Candidates from partner countries of the Belgian Technical Cooperation can apply for a scholarship at the local representation of BTC. The Province of Antwerp provides a number of scholarships for candidates from French-speaking African countries.
Koning Albert II laan 33,
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)2 578 71 92
E-mail: becustoms [at] minfin.fed.be
Each year the Belgian school of customs verification of the General Administration of Customs and Excise organizes a customs’ verification training for a group of customs officers from multiple African countries. A non-exhaustive list of countries includes the Central African Republic, the Union of the Comoros, the Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Djibouti, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Gabonese Republic, and the Togolese Republic.
This intense training is nine months in length and among the matters to be treated are the following subjects essential to customs: tariff, customs value, origin, customs policy, Union Customs Code, etc.
Apart from the theoretical courses, there are also practical visits to the motorized brigades, controls at economic operators and controls at the air- and seaports.
The training ends with a formal diploma ceremony with the high-level attendance of the directors-general of Customs and the ambassadors of the respective participating countries.
This training is crucial to the career development of our African colleagues as we encounter many alumni as future directors-general and other high positions in their respective countries.