The Ivory Coast government recently announced these plans which will come into effect on 1st March 2018. From this date, anyone wishing to export certain goods to the Ivory Coast will be required to employ a third party inspection agency to vouch for the authenticity of the cargo. This will be required before the goods depart the UK.
Wide Variety of Goods Effected
The type of goods impacted are wide ranging: food, chemicals, cosmetics and personal hygiene products, textiles, pharmaceuticals, electrical and electronic products, building materials, packaging products, personal protective equipment, gas appliances and toys.
If goods are received into the Ivory Coast by air or sea without a certificate of conformity, delays, penalties and fines will be incurred by the importer. In some cases the goods may be destroyed.
It is important to note that this legislation will only take effect for shipments departing the UK from 1st March 2018. If goods depart the UK before the 1st March but arrive into the country on or after this date, no certificate will be required.
Conformity Programmes are already in place across the world
Similar conformity certificate programmes are already in place for goods arriving into Cameroon, Egypt, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Gabon.
It is hoped that the programme will prevent unsafe products from being imported into the Ivory Coast and will eliminate them from the national market. It will also help domestic manufacturers to compete fairly.
Adam Johnson, Director at Tudor International Freight is urging regular shippers to the Ivory Coast to familiarise themselves with the new certification process: “Businesses exporting to the Ivory Coast need to be aware of the Verification of Conformity (VOC) programme. In our experience the exporter is usually lumbered with the invoice for the certificate so shippers need to be aware of the costs involved. In addition, the certificate takes time to be approved and processed by a third party inspection agency, which can lead to delays.”