Côte d’Ivoire is the largest economy and an engine of growth among the countries of the Western African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and a driving force behind the regional integration process under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). By signing the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the agreement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Côte d’Ivoire has set itself an ambitious trade facilitation reform agenda. The World Bank estimates that reforms in trade facilitation will be responsible for up to 95% of the AfCFTA’s positive impact.
Lack of transparency and predictability with regards to customs procedures is one of the main trade facilitation challenges faced in Côte d’Ivoire. During consultations, private sector representatives referred to frequent disputes with customs on tariff classification and origin for certain groups of products. Côte d’Ivoire customs does not currently offer the possibility for Advance Rulings on tariff and origin (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD). According to the OECD, Advance Rulings can reduce trade costs significantly by improving transparency, predictability and consistency of customs rulings.
The project focuses on making cross-border trade in Côte d’Ivoire more predictable and transparent through the implementation of Advance Rulings for tariff classification and rules of origin. An Advance Ruling is a written decision by customs that is binding on the customs administration and the applicant concerning the tariff classification, origin or value of a good. It is issued by customs to the applicant prior to import or export. The ruling applies to the entire customs territory and for a specified period.
Additionally, the implementation of Advance Rulings enhances the partnership between agencies operating at the borders, and also between the public and private sector.
The project will intervene along the following workstreams:
A project steering committee has been established under the National Trade Facilitation Committee. The Ivorian Customs Administration is the lead implementer and project partner. The GIZ through the German Alliance for Trade Facilitation provides technical support by working closely with the project team in customs and private sector partners.
Photo credits: GIZ / Michael Tsegaye
This project contributes towards the implementation of the following article of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation:
Furthermore, this project contributes towards the implementation of the following article of the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA):
Do you work for a company with international supply chains? Please contact us if you would like to learn more about the project and the German Alliance.