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Customs records FCFA 600M deficit after Economic Partnership Agreement

3 August 2017 No Comment

By Theodore M. Ndze
The Cameroon Customs Department has lost the sum of FCFA 600 million after signing the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union on August 4, 2016. This information was made known recently during the Customs-Enterprises Forum which took place in Douala on June 21, 2017.
Speaking during the two day workshop, the Director General of Customs, Edwin Fongod Nuvaga said the deficit could increase drastically as days go by due to fraud, corruption and black market transactions at the Douala seaport.
The Director General of Customs also warned that, if strict reconnaissance and control are not taken to oversee products imported, businessmen will fraudulently pass their goods through Europe so as to benefit from tax exoneration in Cameroon.
It is against this backdrop that the Directorate General of Customs brought its private partners on a common platform to chart the way forward on how to fight against these ills.Though government overlooked the FCFA 600 million lose, economists say it is not healthy for the country’s economy which is dangling at the moment and hope to emerge by 2035.
Making a trade deal with a 27 nation zone against Cameroon is very unfair and even makes Cameroon’s commitment to the CEMAC sub region questionable.
One month after the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union, it was revealed that the Customs Department had lost over FCFA 51 million.
According to the Committee responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), in just a month since the EPA agreement went into effect, government had lost FCFA 51.485.000 as customs revenue.
The committee further stated that the losses were strongly fluctuating depending on the volumes and customs rights in question. It was made known that if Cameroon could lose such an amount in just a month, then the amount lost by the State would be astronomical in the next three to six months.

Director General of Customs Edwin Fongod

The committee also revealed that 59 importers had already benefited from the EPA such as Total Cameroon, Cement Cameroon, the Cameroon Sugar Company etc.
According to the accord, 80% of EU goods will get into Cameroon duty-free. Some 1760 lists of EU goods were shortlisted to begin entering the Cameroonian market free of charge. These include tractors, sewing machines, cars, farm tools and other goods. In return, Cameroon will continue to ship cotton, rubber, banana, coffee, cocoa into EU market. That is the sad situation in Cameroon.

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