Customs Reforms in Benin
Among the major orientations of the beninese Government’s Action Program 2016-2021 is the structural transformation of the economy. Indeed, the customs administration has initiated several reforms since 2016 in order to improve the business climate in Benin. Nowadays, it is well known that these customs reforms are bearing fruit. This is in particular explained by an effective fight against customs fraud and corruption. Are you wondering what are these reforms? We invite you to discover them here.
Institutional Customs Reforms
Institutional reforms have made Benin’s customs administration one of the most modern in the sub-region. These include the dematerialization and unification of the various information systems. In addition, there is the development and strengthening of the capacities of customs services and the improvement of internal communication. Moreover, the adaptation of customs procedures to a modern and constantly changing environment is also an institutional reform initiated in the customs administration.
The implementation of these various customs reforms is leading to major innovations within this institution. In fact, they facilitate the management of authorized economic operators. In addition, the deferred control and the one a posteriori are more and more reinforced. It is also important to specify that thanks to the reforms initiated, Beninese customs can better secure goods.
Import Verification Program (IVP)
In order to make the Port of Cotonou the largest hub in the sub-region, the implementation of the Import Verification Program was launched in 2017. This program is piloted by Benin Control SA, a subsidiary of the SFP (Société de Financement et de Participation) group. It ensures the control of the customs value of goods and the tracking of those in transit.
Furthermore, this company is in charge of inspection for the certification of weights and values of imported goods in bulk at the Port of Cotonou. The electronic tracking of used vehicles in transit as well as the control of cargo using X-ray scanners are also the responsibility of this company. This increases the efficiency of the customs administration. Another major reform action undertaken by Benin Control is the management of the approval of customs agents. This consists of automated management of bonds through notifications and the issuance of final approval to companies.
Stock Records in Warehouses
Another reform undertaken to make the customs administration modern is the stock records in warehouses. Indeed, it allows for the automated management of stock records in the MAD MAE, storage warehouses and special and industrial warehouses. Besides, it allows the establishment of the value committee, which ensures the introduction of automatic abatements in ASYCUDA for each type of product.
Customs Reforms to Boost Cross-Border Trade
The reforms implemented by the customs administration also aim to make Benin’s corridors more fluid in terms of trade facilitation. Indeed, several actions are being taken to boost cross-border trade. These include the creation of a one-stop shop for all formalities related to transactions throughout the national territory. This is a single transactional portal for all foreign trade operations.
This reform promotes the complete dematerialization of customs clearance formalities by securing government revenues through electronic payment. Thus, tax and customs revenues are improving. In addition, Benin has been ranked in 2019 among the best countries in terms of trade facilitation, free movement of people and goods.
National Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Program
The National Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program was implemented to strengthen the partnership between customs and companies. It enables the facilitation and securing of the international supply chain. In addition, it allows the selection of economic operators based on a number of pre-established criteria. The customs administration has initiated this flagship reform with the aim of facilitating the transactions of economic operators who are credible. This makes it possible to focus attention on those at risk.
Are you a business owner planning to invest in an activity that will require export and import operations in Benin? You will not have to worry about customs formalities. They are now simplified and fast. Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to know more.
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