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The Expert Consultation on Developing an Action Programme towards Improved Bamboo and Rattan Trade Statistics was organized by the FAO Forestry Department in collaboration with, and with financial support from, the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR). The meeting was held at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, from 5 to 6 December 2002.

The purpose of the consultation was to: (i) elaborate and agree on a proposed set of new HS trade codes for bamboo and rattan products; and (ii) elaborate a plan of action for improving bamboo and rattan statistics at national and global levels, with a programme of work and the roles of the different agencies discussed and agreed upon during the meeting.

The meeting was attended by representatives (in their personal capacity) from key agencies such as the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), New York; the World Customs Organization (WCO), Brussels; the European Commission - Taxation and Customs Union Directorate-General, Brussels; the Customs General Administration of China (Beijing); and TRAFFIC - Asia (World Wide Fund for Nature [WWF], Kuala Lumpur); the Programme Manager of INBAR, and by staff from the FAO Forestry and Economic and Social Departments.

The meeting recommended adopting a long-term approach for the identification of new HS codes for given bamboo and rattan products considering their trade volumes and trends. The result of the meeting was the endorsement of a table (see Annex 5), with HS codes covering 17 different bamboo and rattan products, with the respective actions required and timetables suggested for submission to the WCO.

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