CEMAC Tariff Committee gauges progress in implementation of HS 2022 amendments

01 August 2022

The Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) convened a meeting of its Tariff Committee to review progress in the implementation of the seventh edition of the Harmonized System (HS) by member countries and examine other issues in relation to tariff work in the Community. The meeting was held on 25 and 26 July 2022 in Douala, Cameroun. It was attended by delegations of Cameroun, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo and Gabon, as well as the CEMAC Commission and the WCO. The meeting was co-organized and jointly financed by the CEMAC and the WCO, within the framework of the EU-WCO Programme for HS in Africa (HS-Africa Programme), funded by the European Union.

This meeting intervened as a result of consultations between the HS-Africa Programme and the CEMAC that concluded that only Cameroun had successfully migrated to the HS 2022. The objective of the meeting was to take stock of the state of play in the HS 2022 implementation process in the other countries of the Community, the challenges hindering the migration to the HS 2022 and the support needed for each country. It was also an opportunity where Cameroun experts shared their experience as best practice in the Community.

In their opening remarks, Mr. Michel Niama, Commissioner in charge of the Common Market at the CEMAC, Mr. Samuel Désiré Kwedi, Director of International Co-operation and Tax Bases at the Cameroon Customs, and Mr. Gilles Montagnat-Rentier, Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund reiterated the importance of timely and coordinated implementation of HS amendments by all Community members. They emphasized the pivotal role of the HS and tariffs in ensuring correct and efficient administration of various policy measures, which was particularly relevant in the current context of unstable and disrupted supply chains. They welcomed the opportunity to discuss the implementation of the HS 2022 offered by the Tariff Committee meeting.

Delegates took note of the fact that the CEMAC, under the work plan and with the support of the EU-WCO HS-Africa Programme, had completed the work on the preparation of the 2022 version of the Common External Tariff (CET) well in advance of the implementation date, creating a good basis for member countries to migrate to the new version of the CET in a timely manner. The Committee expressed its appreciation to the CEMAC Commission and Cameroun for the technical preparatory work that they had carried out in that area for the benefit of the Community. Cameroun delegation delivered a presentation with detailed analysis of the process whereby the 2022 CET had been developed and the work model used in Cameroun to implement HS amendments at the national level.

During the meeting, delegations reported the progress achieved so far in their countries, and established plans for the outstanding actions required to finalize the HS 2022 migration process. All delegations informed the Committee that the required national arrangements for implementation of the 2022 CET were in place and the process would be completed before the end of 2022. The HS-Africa Programme will be working with the different countries and the CEMAC to ensure that all members implement the HS 2022 in the course of 2022. The Committee expressed its appreciation to the WCO and the EU for the support provided to the CEMAC for the implementation of the HS and in other areas related to tariff work, reiterating Community’s interest in pursuing its cooperation with the WCO under the HS-Africa Programme.

For more details, please contact wcoHSAfrica@wcoomd.org.