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ECOWAS Reviews Implementation of New Transit Procedure and SIGMAT

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Group Picture

The ECOWAS Commission’s Directorate of Customs Union and Taxation recently convened a meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, from June 10th to 13th, 2024, to evaluate the progress of the Abidjan roadmap and the implementation of the Interconnected System for the Management of Goods in Transit (SIGMAT) in member states. The gathering also included a review of the draft transit manual of procedures.

Mr. Salifou Tiemtore, Director of Customs Union & Taxation at the ECOWAS Commission, welcomed participants on behalf of Mrs. Massandjé Toure-Litse, Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture. Tiemtore emphasized that the recent adoption of the Supplementary Act on ECOWAS Community Transit in December 2021 introduced significant reforms to enhance the fluidity of cross-border movement of goods in the region.

“The deployment of SIGMAT in Member States is a testament to the Authority’s commitment to leveraging Information Communication Technology to improve transit operations in the Community,” stated Tiemtore.

Cross Section
Cross Section

Nafi Isiyaku, Comptroller of Trade Facilitation, Preferential Trade, and AfCFTA at the Nigeria Customs Service and Chairman of the meeting, highlighted the critical role of transit procedures in customs operations and trade facilitation. He urged delegates to propose actionable recommendations to help Member States leverage the economic integration of the region.

The new legal framework provided by the Supplementary Act facilitates the implementation of SIGMAT in ECOWAS Member States and replaces the 1982 Convention on the Interstate Road Transit (ISRT) of goods along with its manual procedures.

The meeting was attended by customs representatives from Member States and relevant directorates from the ECOWAS Commission.

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