(Business in Cameroon) - Today August 4, 2020, the third phase of the economic partnership agreement between Cameroon and the European Union commenced. In this framework, the customs tariffs on products in the third category will be progressively dismantled, at the rate of 10% per year, until 2029 when the tariffs will be reduced by 100%.
According to customs authorities, the products concerned by this phase are those that yield high tax revenues: fuel, cement, motorcycles as well as passenger and transport vehicles.
The country started implementing the first phase on August 4, 2016. During that phase, it gradually dismantled, at the rate of 25% per year, the customs tariffs on products aimed at reducing poverty and improving residents’ wellbeing. These tariffs were fully dismantled on August 4, 2019.
The products concerned by this phase are notably medical equipment, farm inputs pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, pesticides other than insecticides, cakes, paper and cardboard, pole bitumen and other petroleum residues, soda, gypsum, chalk, lime, gas, inorganic and organic chemicals, computers, special purpose motor vehicles, tractors, motorcycle parts and accessories, bicycles and wheelchairs, laboratory, and medical equipment, etc.
The second phase started on August 4, 2017, for a yearly 15% dismantling of customs tariffs on products aimed at boosting local production. The tariffs will be reduced by 100% in 2023. The products concerned here are plasters, lime, marble, clinker, inputs for food industries (odoriferous mixes... for food or beverage industries, yeasts, etc.), wire rods, generators, and rotary electric converters, machines, and appliances, motor vehicles for the transport of goods (trucks, etc.), trailers and semi-trailers, wheelbarrows, some vehicle parts and accessories (bumpers, belts, brakes, wheels, clutches).
Over its three phases, the agreement will gradually open Cameroon’s market to imports from the European Union.
As of March 31, 2020, according to Cameroonian customs, the country had lost XAF16 billion of customs revenues by implementing this economic partnership agreement.