Sequel to the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) by member nations, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it is awaiting information from the National Action Committee on the list of duties and charges waived for liberalized goods under the regional trade agreement, which came into effect January 1, 2021.
NCS said it is also expecting list of the 90 per cent liberalized National Trade Offers, 70 per cent non-liberalized exclusive goods at the regional level, 3 per cent non-Liberalized sensitive goods and the appointment of a competent authority responsible for issuing and authenticating certificates of origin and registering enterprises and products within the region.
Customs Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, in a statement on Tuesday, said “it pertinent to inform the public about steps which must be taken to enable the smooth and full implementation of AfCFTA”.
Attah noted that instead of proceeding in a chaotic manner, the Nigeria Customs Service as policy implementer understands the importance of spelling out the roles and responsibilities of all parties in the agreement and the conditions attendant on its implementation.
He said, “NCS acknowledges the transformational impact this agreement portends for businesses within the continent in general and Nigeria in particular and are fully committed to its success.
“Further, the service recommends that each member country should have a representative in the continental chamber of commerce to ensure transparency within the body thereby generating confidence in the system.
“This, in our view, should be complementary to the activities of the various chambers of commerce of each country in the region.
“While awaiting clear directives concerning tariffs for all goods covered by this agreement, we want to assure the public of our preparedness to fully deploy our services at the shortest notice.
“Our desire is to imbue trust in the system while guaranteeing the economic safety and wellbeing of businesses within the country.
“We look with optimism to an era of complete economic integration which will lead to growth and prosperity for businesses within the region.”