India to aid Ethiopia in implementing customs valuation system

Indo Asian News Service

Addis Ababa, June 16 (IANS) India will provide technical assistance to Ethiopia on implementation of a WTO compliant customs valuation system in the east African country, where weaknesses in tax collection are hampering economic development.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has signed an agreement with the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) for technical assistance to the landlocked country located on the Horn of Africa.

The decision comes after nine months of talks between the two.

The agreement was signed June 13 in the presence of Melaku Fenta, director general of ERCA, and Bhagwant S. Bishnoi, Indian envoy to Ethiopia.

As WTO states, the customs valuation system primarily bases the customs value on the transaction value of imported goods, which is the price actually paid or payable for the goods when sold for export to the country of importation, with certain adjustments.

Ethiopia, with over 65 million people, is facing challenges in the determination of the assessable value of imported goods. This is having a direct impact on the tax collection and economic development of the country.

Ethiopia is also in the process of acceding to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which requires implementation of the Customs Valuation Agreement based on transaction value.

India has immense knowledge in valuation issues. It has offered to share its experience with Ethiopia through the technical assistance project and is also funding the project.

Bishnoi thanked Fenta for his efforts and the trust that he has reposed in the Indian customs for the project.