Borderless Alliance has organized a capacity building workshop for Shea and Cashew stakeholders to enhance intra-regional trade and promote African goods on the global market.
The event, held in collaboration with the African Cashew Alliance and the Global Shea Alliance, was to increase the understanding of stakeholders in the Cashew and Shea industry on customs export procedures, regional trade regulations and its benefits to the trader.
It was also to contribute towards efforts to increase intra-regional trade and boost their competitiveness in the global market.
Mr Owurani Bediako, Chief Revenue Officer of Customs, said up-front duty exemption, which operates alongside the duty drawback system, has enable exporters to enjoy 100 per cent duty exemption on imports intended for export.
He said there is a Corporate Tax Rebate which allows individuals to engaging in agricultural production, to export part or all of his or her production to claim a tax rebate between 40 to 75per cent of his tax liability.
Mr Bediako said there is also a Bonded Warehousing policy that allows manufacturers to hold imported raw materials intended for manufacturing for export in secured places without payment of duty.
Mr James Quophy Wumenu, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist for Borderless Alliance, who spoke on the topic: ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) and the Community Rules of Origin of ECOWAS, said ETLS is the main ECOWAS operational tool to promote the West African region as a free trade area.
He said Borderless Alliance has been tasked by the USAID to build the capacity of Cashew and Shea stakeholders on the rules of origin of goods within the community.
Mr Wumenu said Borderless Alliance has undertaken advocacy programs such as capacity building and the provision of information and technical support services to promote dialogue with West African governments to create an enabling environment for private enterprises. The event which was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), brought together traders, exporters of Cashew, exporters of Shea, freight forwarders, the security personnel, Chamber of Commerce and members of the Borderless Alliance.
Borderless Alliance is a private sector advocacy platform established in 2011 with the support from the USAID West Africa Trade to address the bottlenecks affecting regional trade.