Inter-ECOWAS Trade: Mali ends the obligation of the Certificate of Origin

This is a relief for Malian traders in food and livestock because they have been obliged to produce a certificate of origin (CDO) for them. The good news is reported by the West Africa Trade & Investment Hub, an offshoot of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), for which this certificate is a direct violation of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme SLEC).

By eliminating this famous bottleneck of its traders at the same time as neighboring Guinea, our country is now one of the six countries to have abolished the requirement of this certificate of origin in the ECOWAS area. Since Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin have already preceded them in the lifting of what can be called by gendarmes lying on the different routes of interstate traders.

The USAID Trade Hub, which states that it has "expressly requested" the West African governments that have waived this certificate, has launched a survey of 290 traders, freight forwarders and drivers involved in the trade of 15 agricultural products and animals within ECOWAS. The survey, whose results are expected to be released in the near future, noted that merchants passing through major corridors are obliged to obtain a CDO for half of their shipments. It takes them about 15 hours and $ 41.74 to get a single document, each step being separated, which prevents them from pursuing other steps at the same time.

The study also revealed that only 14.8% of respondents were aware of the initiatives, changes made; there are reforms that affect the time and cost of cross-border trade, including in countries that have waived the CDO over the past 18 months.

Recall that one of the missions of the USAID Trade Hub is to work with governments and local communities to inform official decisions to facilitate trade throughout West Africa.

In addition, the Hub is teaming up with national trade associations to ensure the elimination of the CDO requirement in Guinea-Bissau and the Gambia.


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Information, communication and advocacy for the elimination of barriers to regional trade in West Africa.


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