Border Information CentersUSAID West Africa Trade Hub February, 2013 www.watradehub.com www.borderlesswa.com
ETLS Gap Analysis identifiesimplementation gaps in theECOWAS Free Trade AreaPurposeUSAID West Africa Trade Hub supportsECOWAS, Member States and the private sector Methodologyto increase trade and attract investment to theregion. 200+ private sector interviewed in 9 ECOWAS Member States on gaps and obstacles to regionalThe ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme was market integrationestablished over 20 years ago, to facilitate freemovement of persons, goods and transport Interviews with government agencies tasked with day-among Member States. to-day implementation, both in the capital city and bordersIn 2009, the Trade Hub carried out a GapAnalysis of the ETLS to identify which aspects of Evaluation of legal and regulatory framework forthe protocols were being implemented or not. implementation Compilation and review of all ECOWAS Protocols on free movement of persons, goods and transport; Schedules of official tariffs, taxes and fees
ETLS Gap Analysis Preliminary Findings ETLS Information Dissemination Private sector has limited knowledge and access to information on official customs procedures for goods and vehicles in transit National legislation is difficult to obtain on procedures for transportation Movement of Persons Visa-free travel has been accomplished Unofficial fees and harassment continue at borders Movement of Goods Duty free treatment for unprocessed goods is not being implemented contrary to the ETLS Documentary requirements for intra-ECOWAS trade have not been harmonized across the region, leading to higher administrative costs and delays at borders Non-tariff barriers persist, in the form of quantity, quota or seasonal restrictions, in addition to checkpoints and road barriers Transport Failure to harmonize procedures across the region creates opportunities for corruption Differing axle-load limits, vehicle standards and inspection requirements exist across the region Administrative procedures in conflict with regional rules drive up transport costs
Key Recommendation Establish Pilot Border Information Centers along key corridors in West Africa
Border Information Centers launched at theGhana-Togo border (Aflao) Kodjoviakopé Border information Center, Togo Aflao Border Information Center, Ghana
Operations1. Information dissemination2. Technical Support3. Feedback Mechanism (access to hotlines)4. Training5. Border Community Meetings6. ETLS Approved Trader Facilitation
Information Dissemination– Information Guides for goods clearance at borders– Publish government fees and taxes, trade forms and process guide for both borders– ETLS Approval process and forms– List of ETLS Approved Companies– Signs – directions to customs, immigration, information center
Technical Support On-site support to private sector and facilitate trade to resolve issues (if possible) Work with private and public sector to resolve trade related issues Feedback Mechanism Record trade related issues Follow up on complaints Provide Feedback to both private and public sector
Partners ECOWAS, UEMOA Ministry of Trade, ShippersFinance, Transport, Customs, Immigration, Export Promotion Councils Councils, BNI, Police, Trade Hub Chamber of Commerce, Transport Unions, Private Sector, Clearing Agents
Information Flow Private Sector BorderRecord/Follow Informationup/ Feedback Center Information Public sector Tools
Established BICs Ghana-Togo border Ghana-Burkina border Benin – Nigeria borderIn the pipeline Cote d’Ivoire – Ghana Dakar Port
BIC Toolkit – coming soon…. Guidelines for setting up a BIC includes: - Needs assessment - Identifying partners and relationship building - Infrastructure - Operations - Communications - Monitoring and Evaluation
Other Recommendations … Express Lanes Expedited clearance for non-dutiable goods Pilot at the Ghana-Togo border to reduce costs and delays, especially for ETLS and perishable goods Benefits - Reduced costs and delays in clearance procedures - Minimal documentation - Mutual recognition of phytosanitary certificates - Food security through faster trade in agricultural goods
Borderless Alliance Secretariat USAID West Africa Trade Hub Accra, Ghana www.borderlesswa.com www.facebook.com/borderlesswa
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