WCO contributes to the implementation of the 2017 amendments to the Harmonized System into the Common External Tariff (CET) of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU)

10 六月 2016

On 2 and 3 June 2016, the WCO Secretariat facilitated a training workshop for members of the WAEMU CET Management Committee on the 2017 amendments to the Harmonized System (HS). The event was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the WCO and the WAEMU on 27 April 2015.

Among the areas in which the WCO and the WAEMU are to co-operate, the Memorandum envisages that the WCO Secretariat and the WAEMU Commission co-ordinate joint training activities for Customs officers of the WAEMU in respect of the Nomenclature of the WAEMU CET.

As a consequence of the establishment of the Customs Union of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the WAEMU CET has been amended and extended to all ECOWAS member states in order to strengthen the cohesion of the two organizations’ trade policies and promote regional integration in West Africa by consolidating the Customs Union. At present, the WAEMU CET has a total of 5,899 tariff lines based on the 2012 HS. The new version of the tariff based on the 2017 HS is currently being drafted by the WAEMU CET Management Committee.

The WCO’s training served to familiarize members of the Committee with the amendments to the HS proposed in the Council Recommendations of 27 June 2014 and 11 June 2015, and detailed explanations were given of the changes made to both the 2012 and 2017 editions of the HS. As a result, this training will make it easier to align the WAEMU CET with the 2017 HS and apply it as of 1 January 2017.

The WAEMU CET Management Committee was also encouraged to intensify its efforts in respect of amendments which might be made during the current HS review cycle (HS 2022) in such a way as to reflect the specific economic, social and environmental concerns of the countries of West Africa.