Posted by: africanpressorganization | 12 March 2012

ECOWAS urged to include sugar on the product priority list for common external tariff



ECOWAS urged to include sugar on the product priority list for common external tariff


ABUJA, Nigeria, March 12, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The four-nation ad-hoc committee on the tariff for the importation of sugar into the ECOWAS region has called on the ECOWAS Commission to include sugar on the product priority list for the implementation of common regional external tariff under the ECOWAS Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP).


This was one of the key recommendations of the ad-hoc committee, which comprises Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. It was set up by the Joint ECOWAS-UEMOA Committee for the Management of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) at its 11th meeting in Cotonou, Benin Republic last December, to determine appropriate tariffs for the

importation of sugar and sugar products into the region.


After listening to the presentation by a sugar specialist during its two-day meeting which ended 6th March 2012 at the Commission’s Abuja headquarters, the ad-hoc committee noted that its recommendation was based on the importance of sugar to the economic development of the region.


The meeting chaired by Mr. Salifou Tiemtore, Director of Customs, ECOWAS Commission, also recommended that Member States should maintain the status quo on their customs tariff applicable to raw and refined sugar till 2014. By 2018, a uniform duty rate of 35 per cent on both raw and refined sugar is expected to come into force.


Furthermore, the ad-hoc committee recommended that approaches to taxation on raw sugar should be accompanied by appropriate monitoring mechanism and measures to ensure proper implementation.


The 11th Joint ECOWAS-UEMOA Committee Meeting in Cotonou agreed a roadmap for the finalization of a draft ECOWAS CET to be submitted to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers for adoption by end of June 2012.


The finalization of the CET, a major step in the establishment of a customs union under the ECOWAS integration agenda, is also critical to the conclusion of ongoing Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations between the ECOWAS and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) Commissions and the European Union.



Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)


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