ECOWAS experts validate the texts, to strengthen the customs union and operations in the region
Accra, 11-08-2021. The 4th Customs Union Joint Management Committee meeting started today, a three (3) day meeting in the city of Accra-Ghana. The meeting will review all technical issues in eight (8) additional acts and regulations of customs texts, make changes and validate these chats with recommendations, which will be presented to ministers on Friday, November 12, 2021 for further consideration and approval. and subsequent presentation to the Council of Ministers for their adoption and implementation in member states.[Link]Group photo – Accra
The Commissioner of Customs, Trade and Free Movement, Mr. Konzi Tei, in his opening remarks, expressed the deep gratitude of the Commission to His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and to all his government for their thought leadership. in the conduct of ECOWAS affairs, on behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, HE Jean Claude Kassi BROU. Ghana has always been at the forefront of the integration process in Africa and I would like to salute the continued availability and unwavering commitment of Ghana to support the actions of the ECOWAS Commission in consolidating our customs union which represents an important step in the realization of the dream of economic integration of the founding fathers of ECOWAS, he said.
He noted that despite the pandemic, which is currently raging in the world and is disrupting the economic and social order, the attendance at the meeting was very impressive, showing that the pandemic has not weakened our resolve and determination to work with diligence for the economic integration of the community.
He called on the participants to consider these 3 days as contributing to the harmonization and strengthening of the Customs Union in West Africa and Mauritania. He asked them to be diligent and overcome any challenges to ensure that the amendments to the CET modifications and the draft legal text for the migration of the ECOWAS CET from the 2017 version of the HS to the latest version. of the nomenclature be successfully validated by January 2022. These validated texts and the ECOWAS HS2022 are expected to be submitted to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers for adoption, which will be fully implemented in member states by meeting the requirements of the World Customs Organization and Contracting Parties. to the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System and also allow the Community to update its tariff offer under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), he said. concluded by declaring the meeting open.
Ms. Rosemond Dante-Asante, Head of Trade Facilitation in West Africa, implemented by GIZ, reiterated the importance of this meeting and added that ETLS implementation has improved. 41% between October 2018 and September 2021 due to the provisions and creation of a website, an electronic certificate and a monitoring and evaluation mechanism among others that improve the channels of communication between key players.
She said that the piloting of the Additional Act on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger and Nigeria, which should be extended to all Member States, will certainly deepen the consolidation of the ECOWAS Customs Union.
Mr. Benjamin Ayesu-Kwafo, represented the delegation of Ghana and chaired the meeting. In his welcome speech, he called for full commitment from all participants to ensure the success of the validation process.
As you may recall, as customs administrators, we need to review the version of the common external tariff that we are using, and the 2017 version is overdue. The most important aspect of this meeting is to see how we can migrate from the 2017 version to the 2022 version. We need to look at all the technical issues and present a report to our heads of customs in each of our states for their approval and their subsequent adoption as a new common external customs tariff to be implemented throughout the region.