Foreign trade: a draft decree in the pipeline

Pursuant to Law 91-14 relating to foreign trade, a draft decree (No. 2-22-30) setting, among other things, the procedures for registration and renewal of registration of importers and exporters in the register which is dedicated to them, is subject to comment on the government portal.

In its presentation note, the Ministry of Industry and Trade recalls that Law 91-14 provides for “a framework for imports and exports of goods and services capable of protecting national production, in particular agricultural products, and to ensure flow control”. It is in this sense that the law provides for “the registration of importers and exporters in a register established for this purpose”.

Register of importers and exporters: electronic registration and re-registration

The preliminary draft decree sets, from its first article, the procedures and deadlines relating to registration and renewal of registration in the register of importers and exporters. The latter “may be kept in electronic format, in accordance with the legislation and regulations in force in the matter”.

Thus, registration or renewal thereof can be carried out electronically “on the portal established for this purpose by the department responsible for foreign trade”. The list of documents to be attached to the application for registration will be fixed by decree, as provided for in article 2 of the decree.

Renewal of registration must be requested no later than three months before the expiry date of its period of validity. Otherwise, the interested party risks the radiation of the registry.

Import-export of goods subject to specifications: a prior electronic declaration

The preliminary draft decree also sets the terms for the development and adoption of the specifications, as well as compliance with their control by the operators concerned.

In this sense, article 8 of the said text indicates that to “import or export goods subject to the specifications”, it is necessary to “make a declaration, including by electronic means, to the department responsible for foreign trade (…) according to the terms set by decree (…)”.

Draft decree 2-22-30 also provides for the terms of subscription and issuance of foreign trade documentsi.e. import and export commitments and licenses, customs exemptions, etc. Their models will be fixed by decree.

In its article 11, the text indicates that “decisions to grant or refuse import licenses, export licenses and customs exemptions are notified to the applicant, by any means demonstrating receipt, including electronicallywithin a period not exceeding sixty working daysfrom the date of filing of the application certified by a receipt”. “Any refusal must be motivated”says the same source.

Regarding the management of tariff quotasto which the text devotes its fourth section, article 13 specifies the mandatory information that the notice sent to importers must contain. These are the legal basis, the objects and the volume of the tariff quota, the identification of the goods and the documents constituting the file accompanying the request for customs exemption. It is also about the deadline and the procedures for filing requests for customs exemptions, as well as the criteria for allocating quotas.

“Except in cases where the distribution is carried out according to the principle of first come, first served, or according to the method of invitation to tender, in accordance with the provisions of article 14 of law 91-14, the distribution of the quota tariff is carried out by the department in charge of foreign trade, in consultation with the departments concerned”, provides article 14 of the preliminary draft decree.

Creation of two new commissions

Once published in the Official Bulletin, the text will repeal Decree 2-93-415 of July 2, 1993 issued for the application of Law 13-89 relating to foreign trade. It also provides for the creation and composition of two commissions to the Ministry of Foreign Trade. The terms of their respective operations will be set by “rules of procedure”.

The first, known as the “import advisory committee”, will be responsible for examining requests for tariff protection and in the form of quantitative restrictions. It will also have to “give its opinion on all matters relating to imports”.

The second relates to the “inter-ministerial commission for the coordination of international trade negotiations”, the purpose of which is to coordinate the drafting and adoption of the trade negotiation mandate and to give its opinion on the matter.

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