Burkinabé officials agree on steps to make AGOA textile visa operational

The Deputy Director General of Burkina Faso Customs, Mrs. Micheline Ilboudo Diallo (far right) opened the workshop and thanked the U.S Government and the Trade Hub for organizing the training. She noted that “this training is timely and whatever we learn here will help make the AGOA textile visa functional.” Also in the photo are Mr. David K. Young, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou and Mr. Nazaire Pare, Director General of Commerce at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Artisanal. Photo credit: Mr. Kara Diallo, Trade Hub.

Burkina Faso became eligible to export under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in December 2004, and eligible to export textiles under AGOA in August 2006. One of the AGOA requirements for textiles benefits concerns the establishment of an AGOA visa system for the export of apparel and textile products to the United States. However, the country does not yet have an operational textile visa in place.

A Trade Hub’s workshop held on September 21-22 in Ouagadougou was a first step towards making the AGOA textile visa operational for Burkinabé exporters. Mr. Kara Diallo, Trade Hub AGOA Specialist, explained AGOA rules of origin, eligibility criteria for products, and AGOA requirements to around twenty officials from the Burkinabé customs administration, Ministry of Commerce, and the export promotion agency. Participants also learned about the textile visa system and procedures, as well as AGOA documentation requirements.

Mr. David K. Young, the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou attended the opening. He urged participants to: “Take the necessary measures to designate the signatories to the [AGOA textile] visa. These details are important and necessary to make sure Burkinabé businesses benefit from AGOA.”

During the workshop, Mr. Diallo also reviewed the Trade Hub’s AGOA ABCs and the Hub’s AGOA Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) manual. He noted that these publications contain examples of detailed export-related documentation.

At the end of this training, Burkinabé customs officials designated new authorized signatories and also agreed to take the necessary steps to ensure the AGOA textile visa process is in place as soon as possible.  As well as submitting the new designated signatories to the U.S. Trade Representative for approval, customs officials will also design and produce an AGOA textile visa stamp.

For more information about the Trade Hub’s work to promote AGOA exports across West Africa, please click here.

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