Introduction of Common External Tariff

  • DATE28 Jan 2016

Goes Live 1st February 2016

The ECOWAS Revised Treaty (like the European Union Treaty which provides for a Common Market and a Customs Common Tariff as part of the process for Economic integration) indicates that one of the main objectives for the creation of the Community is the establishment of a common market through trade liberalization and the adoption of a Common External Tariff (CET).

The CET which is a Combined Nomenclature is based on the Harmonized System (HS) nomenclature which is run by the World Customs Organization (WCO). This systematic list of commodities forms the basis for international trade negotiations, and is applied by most trading nations.

The CET has a five (5) rate bands as follows:

  •  0% - essential social commodities
  •  5% - basic raw materials, capital goods and specific inputs
  • 10% - intermediate products
  • 20% - final consumer goods
  • 35% - specific goods for economic development


The implementation of the CET will impact on the current HS Code list as summarised below: 

  • 41 New HS Codes will be created
  • 39 HS Codes will be reactivated
  • 262 HS Codes will be deactivated
  • 5819 HS Codes will be unaffected (though duty rates for 3378 of them will change) 

Import Duty changes as summarised in the table below.

 0%  5%  10%  20%  35%  Total
 Current  725  375  2333  2624  0  6057
 CET  85  2146  1373  2165  130  5899

For more detailed information please click on the below link:
Detailed HS and Tariff Information

Other Notes:

  • Overaged Penalty rates for used vehicles are not catered for by the CET so Declarants are requested to inset User Defined Tax where applicable.
  • Differences in taxes as a result of HS Codes with higher duty rates after the CET implementation shall not be paid if the Declaration was paid for before the CET implementation date.