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ECOWAS Ministers meet to discuss common tariff

21 November 2014, 08:59Augustine Osayande

Abuja - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ministers of Finance and Directors-General of Customs are to meet in Accra next Thursday to finalize preparations for the entry into force of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) next year.

According to a statement by Directorate of Communication ECOWAS headquarters in Abuja, the meeting, organized by the Directorate of Customs of the ECOWAS Commission, will be preceded by a three-day session 24-26 November 2014 by the joint ECOWAS-UEMOA Committee for the Management of the CET, also in the Ghanaian capital.

“The purpose of the pre-ministerial meeting is to conclude arrangements at the experts’ level; brief the Finance Ministers on the preparations towards the implementation of the instrument and officially launch the CET by 1st January 2015. The Finance Ministers and Directors-General of Customs meeting is particularly crucial, because it sends a strong signal of the Community’s commitment to implement the CET next January, as directed by the Heads of State and Government,” the statement read.

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It added that at Dakar Summit in October 2013 regional leaders resolved that the ECOWAS CET should enter into force in the Member States on January 1. To this end, several preparatory activities were undertaken at regional and national levels to ensure the smooth implementation of the instrument on the set date.

“Consequently, Directors-General of Customs of ECOWAS Member States has met to develop a roadmap for the implementation of CET, as well as a meeting of Customs IT experts to work on the integration of the CET in the national IT systems. A training-of-trainers workshop for all customs administrations of ECOWAS Member states, another for Trade and Industry Ministries’ officials, and the third for the private sector were eight forwarders.”

The CET seeks to harmonize the duties and taxes on goods entering the ECOWAS region regardless of their points of entry and destination. Its adoption process dates back to the 29th Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government held in January 2006 in Niamey, Niger, which developed the instrument based on the architecture of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).

– CAJ News

- CAJ News

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