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The WCO and ECOWAS successfully hold their annual review meeting in Abuja

28 marzo 2016

Under the aegis of the WCO-WACAM Project, funded by Sweden, the WCO Secretariat and the ECOWAS Customs Directorate held a working session on the 18th of March at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, Nigeria.

During this session, both parties noted with satisfaction the progress made in relations to the cooperation road map devised in February 2015 as well as the intensification of the partnership since then.

The working session focused on the ECOWAS Customs Code, the ECOWAS Common External Tariff, Rules of Origins, Transit (including interconnectivity), ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme, Customs Cooperation to combat fraud and security threats, the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), the African Union Agenda, One-Stop Border Posts as well as Customs Human Resource Management reform.

This working session allowed both the WCO and the ECOWAS Customs Directorate to identify both, the challenges and key success factors to ensure successful implementation and alignment of ECOWAS instruments and initiatives with international standards, agreements and conventions, in particular those of the WCO.

The meeting concluded that in 2016, the WACAM cooperation between both organisations would primarily focus on the setting up of a better organizational ECOWAS framework enabling the Commission and its Members to more efficiently collaborate on priority regional topics (e.g CET, transit interconnectivity, regional customs training...). With regard the overall collaboration it was decided to concentrate on the alignment of the ECOWAS Common Customs Code with the requirements of the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention and the WTO TFA and also on the development of transit-interconnectivity among selected ECOWAS-Members.