Ali Finally Releases The  ECOWAS CET, 2022-2026 For Customs Implementation

By Stephen Ubanna

In apparent confirmation of theValue News Story’’ titled 2022 Fiscal Measures: How Hajia Ahmed, Kept Nigerians Waiting, Importers To Pay More For 172 Selected Items’’,  Timi Bomodi, a Deputy Comptroller, published on Monday, April 11, 2022, Timi Bomodi, a Deputy Comptroller, and the Customs spokesperson, at the instance of Hameed Ali, a retired Army colonel the Comptroller General,  had said that on Friday  April 1st, 2022, that  the Service migrated from the version  of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Common External Tariff , CET,2017-2021 to 2022-2026.

 He may have gladdened the heart of importers with their agents when he said ‘’implementing the current ECOWAS CET takes immediate effect’’.The Customs spokesperson had said that   the new ECOWAS CET, is in ‘’line with the World Customs Organisation, WCO, five years review of the nomenclature’’. The Deputy Customs Comptroller had said that ‘’the contracting parties are expected to adopt the revised version of the CET, based on regional considerations and national economic policy. Note that the government had introduced additional taxes and levies on 172 products.

Ali: CG, Customs

Given an insider information of the 2022-2026, CET,  Bomodi had said that the nation had adopted all tariff lines  with few adjustments  in it. He cited the Annex II, of the 2026, CET, and in line with the National Automotive Policy,  NAP, the NCS, has retained  the   a duty rate of 20% for used vehicles  as was transmitted  by ECOWAS with  a levy of 35%. He noted that importers of New vehicles will pay a little bit higher.  According to him the ECOWAS had said that they will 20% duty on such New vehicles and 20% levy. He had cited a memo from the office of Hajia Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, HMFBNP/NCS/CET/4/2022 of April 7, 2022.

It is instructive to note that  that the domestic Fiscal  on the importation of motor vehicles through the nation’s RORO ports at Tin can Island port and Port Multi-services Terminals Limited, PTML,  and other general Merchandise  is targeted  at growing  the local economy  in these sectors. He maintained that the focus of the Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel led Customs is on the implementation of these policies  in ‘‘the hope that  that it would achieve  its desired  objectives  in line with the country’s NA C, policy and other Fiscal policies of the government.

He further disclosed that the Customs also activated the use of Chapters 98 and 99 of the CET in accordance  with the WCO, recommendation  for national use  by the contracting parties, which in the case of Nigeria  will ‘’promote  industrialization  through sectorial incentives  for members  targeted  at economic growth , enhancement of security  and minimized consumption of foreign goods.

There is no gain saying  the fact that  the nation’s Automotive industry  , bonafide  local car assemblers, like COSCHARIS,  Manufacturers of spare parts and local Manufacturers  enhance technology   transfer  skill acquision, create job opportunities  and increase per capital income.

Note that the Chapter 98 of the 2022-2026, CET, had made it clear that bonafide car assemblers importing Completely Knocked Down, CKD, and Semi Knocked Down, SKD,  are to enjoy  a concession  of 0%  Duty respectively for the next five years. There indications that in Republic of Benin, Ghana, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire and other West African countries  the duty rate of same  items  are  between 5% and 10% respectively.

Bomodi, the Custom Public Relations Officer, may have spoken the  mind of the Customs Comptroller General , when he  stated in a recent Statement  released that  that ‘’Incentivizing  the efforts  through  such policy interventions  would guarantee a win-win  situation  for the nation  in the long run’’.  The government may have taken the bold initiative to discourage Nigerian importers  rushing to these neighbouring  West African  countries seaports to imp take delivery  of their CKD and SKD  imports when thy  could  import such items through Nigeria ports  enjoying 0& duty rate.

 Maritime analysts believe that with the 0% duty rate Concession on CKD and SKD, imports, many importers who had relocated to Benin to take deleievery of their CKD and SKD, in the country two major  sea- ports: Atonomous port of Benin, Cotonou and Bollore port  including the other ports in other countries in the egion would relocate to Nigerian to enjoy the  Concessions to save money. 

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