Trade Policy

ECOWAS Customs Code

The ECOWAS Community Customs Code is a set of rules and procedures enacted by the community or authorities in our Member States and generally applicable to tariff and other common policy measures in relation to trade in goods traded between the ECOWAS Community and third parties as well as among Member States.

It application, therefore, shall constitute the community customs regulation in force within ECOWAS. It is worth adding that certain provisions of the code may be applicable outside the ECOWAS Customs territory ‘…outside the Community customs territory under specific legislation or international conventions’.

Existing international instruments and best practices as well as the European Union’s Customs Code were considered when drafting the Community Customs code.

Together with existing framework, the Community Customs Code is to further accelerate and strengthen the resolve for the creation of a community market

The harmonized code, coupled with a uniformed application by ECOWAS Member States provides a form of standardized customs controls for the region.


The areas covered by the code include :

  1. The scope of customs legislation as well as the objective of the customs authority
  2. Modalities for the application of the Common External Tariff (CET) and covers areas such as the tariff description of goods, origin of goods, and value of goods for customs purposes
  3. The prohibitions in respect of intellectual property right, the protection of marks and indications of origin
  4. Transitional clause, external trade and foreign exchange control and the rights and obligations of person who are under customs regulation.
  5. The application of customs law and how to handle travelers including clearance and handling of items for personal use of travelers.
  6. Conveyance and customs control of goods including imports and exports.

The customs clearance process and processing produces are  well laid out and explained in the code

Go to ECOWAS Community Customs Code document