Benin Exempts Statistical Tax on Goods of ECOWAS Origin

Effective January 1, Article 14 of the 2015 Finance Act of the Republic of Benin exempts statistical tax on "products and homegrown products manufactured in any of the ECOWAS member countries or ECOWAS zone". The Service Note (Nº0029 / DGDDI / DAR 7 January 2015) of the Directorate General of Customs and Excise gives more details on the relevant products among which include agricultural products. The said Service Note can be found on the Borderless Alliance website.

Within the framework of the law bordering on transit costs in Benin, the statistical tax is 5% of the CIF value of the product. It should be noted that this decision follows a meeting with the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Divestment Programme; jointly led by the Executive Secretariat and the National Committee of Borderless Alliance and with the participation of the ECOWAS Parliament and  the West Africa Trade Hub of the USAID.

In a related development, the Office of the Commissioner for Domestic Tax Revenue Division, in a letter to the Authority of Ghana Shippers, confirmed the removal of the perception of Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods in transit Making reference to provisions the Value added Tax of 2013,Act 870 and the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (Management) Act, PNDCL330; it stated “goods manifested for importation at an approved port in the country for removal by road, inland waterway or rail to an exit point in the country for exportation to their final destination in an export country should not attract any taxes including taxes on transit cargo services except when they are entered for home consumption with the approval of the Commissioner-general. It must be noted, however, that this decision was arrived at following an advocacy meeting with the Ministry of Finance and Economic planning last September, led by the Ghana National Committee of Borderless Alliance, which has its host institution being the Ghana Shippers’ Authority.

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