Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Effective customs cooperation for better economic integration for Djibouti, Ethiopia

Letter to the Editor

The friendship relation and economic cooperation between the Republic of Djibouti and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is not new. This economic integration between the two countries is progressing day by day. The two countries, which are jointly members of several regional, continental and international organizations, collaborate in different fields, through joint commissions on subjects on common interest, with a climate of mutual trust.

The Djiboutian authorities, aware of the capital importance of this fruitful cooperation, are sparing no effort to further develop and perpetuate it. It is with this in mind that the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on customs transit in November 2008.  This protocol has enabled the Djiboutian and Ethiopian customs administrations to set up a framework for frank dialogue with a view to finding appropriate solutions to the constraints related to transit between the two countries.

The need to further streamline customs transit, the movement of goods and people, as well as the establishment of optimal interconnection between customs systems were at the heart of discussions during a meeting held on March 21th to 23th, 2023 in Djibouti between the customs authorities of the two countries.

Important decisions were made jointly during this meeting. Among the decisions taken, the creation of an electronic system (E-tracking) of interconnected cargo ships. This should make it possible both to improve the fluidity of traffic and to combat the phenomenon of smuggling more effectively. Similarly, the two parties, aware of the importance of the coding of goods (HS Code) and the customs value, have made the commitment to work together in order to remedy the difficulties linked to customs control and the future implementation of the COMESA regional guarantee on goods in transit.

Beyond the customs agreements, the two countries discuss and cooperate on a permanent basis in areas as varied as common social projects (water and electricity), trade and financial exchanges, strengthening economic integration, as well as the cross-border challenges, particularly security and migration. Joint work has made significant progress thanks to the tenacity of joint commissions and committees and sub-committees of experts from both countries.

It is therefore important to emphasize that the Djibouti customs authorities are members of the various commissions of discussions and are in permanent contact with the Ethiopian customs authorities. This contradicts the comments contained in an article published on April 8, 2023 in the newspaper “The Reporter“.

Indeed, in the event of a specific problem, the Djiboutian authorities always hasten to solve it, in collaboration with the Ethiopian authorities, as explained by the head of the branch of the Ethiopian Maritime Authority (EMA) in Djibouti. He said that although he has not received any official complaints from the complaining exporters.

He added that “If a logistics company or exporter has encountered a problem with cargo facilitation, it is preferable for them to submit detailed complaints to the EMA in order to obtain a solution through a proper procedure, as the problem of importing cargo facilitation was solved“.

In conclusion, there was no need for the Logistics Company or exporter to make a false trial against the Djiboutian customs authorities because there is a legal procedure for complaining in order to have adequate solutions.

 

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