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Benin: Customs revenue rises 14% in 2023 despite border closure with Niger

Tuesday, 09 April 2024 12:57
Benin: Customs revenue rises 14% in 2023 despite border closure with Niger

(Ecofin Agency) - Despite the closure of its borders with Niger, which accounts for 80% of its port transit volume, Benin reported a 14% increase in customs revenue in 2023. This growth, amounting to over CFA628 billion ($1.03 billion) in gross customs revenue, marks an increase of CFA80.8 billion (+14.8%) from the previous year. While the growth is notable, it remains below the post-COVID-19 trend, which saw customs revenues increase by over 20% in 2021 and 2022. However, last year's performance exceeded the 2023 Finance Act's target, achieving a collection rate of 104.2%, compared to 101.7% in the same period in 2022.

The resilience of Benin's customs revenue comes amidst regional tensions and trade disruptions following the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposing restrictive measures after the coup against President Bazoum of Niger. The government of Benin attributes the robust revenue performance to a series of measures designed to mitigate the economic shock of the border closure and the implementation of structural reforms.

Key strategies included the proactive consumption of goods destined for Niger that were in backlog at the Port Authority of Cotonou and rerouting truck itineraries towards Niger. In addition to these immediate responses, Cotonou has launched more structural measures in fiscal and customs domains in recent years. These reforms encompass the application of transaction value, strengthened anti-fraud efforts, and intensified post-clearance inspections. Furthermore, the interconnection of customs IT systems with neighboring countries has played a significant role in this achievement, as stated by Beninese authorities.

Looking ahead to 2024, Benin anticipates customs revenues to reach CFA702 billion, with expectations of resumed trade with Niger contributing to this outlook.

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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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