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Directors General of Customs in the region hold meeting on Common External Tariff
Group Picture of Directors General of Customs Services in ECOWAS

Abuja, 21st November 2019. The Director General of Customs services of Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met on 21st November 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria in order to review the application of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) and its accompanying measures in Member States over the past five years and to make recommendations which will strengthen its implementation.

The meeting which was preceded by a meeting of the joint ECOWAS-West African Economic Monetary Union (WAEMU) committee for the management of the ECOWAS Customs unions will not only examine country reports of the assessment of the implementation of the CET in Member States but will also propose corrective measures to address sectors adversely affected by its application.


Speaking during the opening of the meeting, the Commissioner of Trade Customs and Free movement of the ECOWAS Commission, Tei Konzi, stated that this meeting is being held at the behest of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS Members States.
The Commissioner noted that the smooth flow of goods across the various corridors and borders of the sub-region in a reasonable time has always been a challenge, hence ECOWAS has developed the Interconnected Transit Freight Management System (SIGMAT) to respond to the concerns expressed rightly by the private sector on the many difficulties encountered on the various corridors of ECOWAS.

In addition the ECOWAS Commission has launched a website dedicated mainly to liberalization and trade schemes which is interactive and will provide answer to the questions of public and private actors.

The Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service retired Colonel Hamid Ali, in his remarks at the meeting urged the experts to take into consideration the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which has been signed and awaiting ratification in the course of their deliberations.

“We should use expertise to draw up measures that will foster regional economic development and trade facilitation within the sub-region, especially on transit, in accordance with the World Trade Organization/World Customs guidelines”, he said.
Also in attendance of the meeting was Brigade General Toumany SANGARE, Director General of the Customs and Vice President Region OMD-AOC Guinea.

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