Seven Sierra Leonean customs officers attended the Trade Hub’s AGOA training on September 26 in Freetown. The training focused on standard operating procedures required under U.S. customs law; AGOA exports must be in compliance with these procedures.
The training was conducted by Dr. Mohamed Abou iiana, the Trade Hub’s Senior AGOA Specialist. The training also provided an overview of AGOA and rules of origin requirements as well as procedures and documentation needed to export to the U.S under AGOA – with a focus on agro food and textiles products.
Sierra Leonean authorities are taking serious steps to utilize AGOA and increase exports to the U.S. market. An AGOA National Steering Committee was formed in September to develop a National AGOA Strategy, a consultant has been selected, and funding has been allocated from the United Nation Economic Commission for Africa. National consultative meetings with the business community will take place within the next few months. To ensure Sierra Leonean products meet international standards and requirements, the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau has established laboratories with modern equipment to test food and agriculture products prior to export are in the process of being accredited by ISO 17025.