ECOWAS TRADE LIBERALIZATION SCHEME (ETLS)
The objective of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme is to establish a Customs Union among all member states aimed at the total elimination of Customs Duties and Taxes of equivalent effect, removal of non-tarrif barriers and the establishment of a Common Customs External Tariff to protect goods produced in Member States.
The following is groups of goods covered under the Scheme:
- Unprocessed goods – These are livestock, fish, plant or mineral products that have not undergone any industrial transformation [See ECOWAS Tariff].
- Traditional Handicraft Products – These articles are made by hand with or without the help of tools, instruments or devices that are activated directly by the Craftsman. Such products include wooden cooking utensils, fancy goods, small cabinet work, mats, carpets, bed linen, footwear, headgear, prepared feathers, etc. [See ECOWAS Tariff].
- Industrial Products of Community Origin.
The three groups of goods mentioned above are granted the following concessions:
- Total exemption from import duties and taxes
- No quantitative restriction
- Non-payment of compensation for loss of revenue for items (i) and (ii) as a result of their importation.
Conditions to be fulfilled by the importer
- Goods must originate in Member States of the Community.
- Goods must appear on the list of products annexed to the decisions liberalizing trade in these products.
- Goods must be accompanied by a Certificate of Origin and an ECOWAS Export Declaration form.
- Such goods must be subjected to the Import Clearance Procedure spelt out under Nigeria Import and Export Guidelines.
- Exemption of goods whose value is not above $500 from documentation.
- The beneficiary of the Scheme must be Resident1 within the ECOWAS Sub-region.
- All goods shall be covered by the Inter-State Road Transit Declaration.
- The Inter-State Road Transit Declaration shall either be typewritten or hand-written but in the latter case it shall be in ink, legible and in printed characters.
- The Inter-State Transit Declaration shall be signed by the principal obligee or by his authorized representative as well as the Approved National Guarantor.
- The goods are to be transported under the cover of the ECOWAS ISRT Log Book and without being transferred to another means of transport between a Member State and the Office of Final Destination.
If you require further information, please contact:
Public Relations Officer
Nigeria Customs Service