By Frank Edima
The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS recently organized a one day workshop to sensitize stakeholders in Cross River State and environs on the implementation of ECOWAS Common External Tariff, CET in Calabar.
According to Assistant Comptroller of Customs, Cross River State Command, Mr. Ejido Azikiwe who was one of the resource persons, “The ECOWAS CET implementation is to foster cooperation among member States, trigger industrialization and promote economic integration among them and others”.
He added that tariff in the CET are grouped into bands and also come with a new structure for tariff lines which will allow increased importation of raw materials and semi-finished products to boost ECOWAS States economy.
According to another resource person, Mr. Yusuf Ibrahim from budget office of the Federation, Ministry of Finance the Common External Tariff is to stabilize the economic system in member States to common import tariff.
On products originating from third world countries (non- ECOWAS countries), the new ECOWAS CET is based on the 2012 Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS).
The HS is usually revised every 5 years due to environmental and social interests, technological processes, trade patterns and trade volume, he added.
However, the CET would equally guarantee predictable market access to the regional market which presently consists of about 250 million people with an increasing purchasing power due to the emerging middle class in countries like Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria.
Hence, the ECOWAS Common External Tariff will promote the international standing of ECOWAS as important trade and investment partner. The ECOWAS Commission is ready to support member States to the later, it says.
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