The WCO and the ECOWAS Commission commit to strengthen their institutional partnership

18 febrero 2015

An ECOWAS Commission delegation, headed by Mr. Ahmed Hamid in his capacity as ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movement, visited WCO Headquarters in Brussels on 16 and 17 February 2015.

With the recent adoption of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff, Secretary General Mikuriya and Mr. Hamid agreed that enhanced cooperation between the two institutions was necessary and that a clear framework of cooperation should be devised based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2011 between the WCO and the ECOWAS Commission.

Following several consultation sessions over the two days, the WCO and the ECOWAS Commission agreed that initial areas of cooperation will include Interconnectivity and Human Resource Management, building on the recent successes of the WCO-PACIR Project and the WCO-WACAM Project in these areas in West Africa. It was agreed that the WCO and the ECOWAS Commission will have annual review sessions to assess the outcomes of their partnership and that they will invite each other to key regional and global meetings and working sessions.

By the end of the ECOWAS visit to the WCO, both parties felt confident that the foundations for closer cooperation were now laid out and that the future joint efforts will result in tangible benefits for the countries of West Africa.