A Common External Tariff for ECOWAS member states was adopted by the council of ministers “government decision A/DEC.17/01/06 of 12th January 2006”. The Common External Tariff is one of the instruments integrating the ECOWAS region into a common market, which will eventually pave the way to the creation of a Customs Union in West Africa.
The CET agreed on common rates for over 5899 tariff lines of 10 digits. The CET is structured into five tariff bands:
- 0% for Essential social goods
- 5% Goods of primary necessity, raw materials and specific inputs
- 10% inputs and intermediate goods
- 20% Final Consumption goods
- 35% Special inputs for economic development.
It has now been agreed that the CET will come into effect from the 1st of January 2015. This will mean that all member states are supposed to upload the CET harmonize tariff on their respective customs automated system and start applying the 5 tariff band of the CET on the scheduled date.
The Gambia is moving progressively to meet the deadline date for implementation. A national committee has been formed and a focal point identified for the implementation process. A national Road Map has also been drawn and plans have already been initiated for the national sensitization of major stake holders.