Common External Tariff (CET) and Targeting the Poor in Mali

Part of the Insight and Innovation in International Development book series (IIID, volume 4)


The WAEMU’s common external tariff (CET) went into effect in January 2000 and is divided into four categories of products with customs duties of 0, 5, 10 and 20%, respectively. This study analyses the “benefits” of this categorisation for the poor, using targeting indicators calculated with the help of data from the Mali 2006 ELIM. For category 0, which is exempt of customs duties, the results indicate that there are proportionally fewer poor people who consume or purchase these products. However, poor consumers benefit more from category 1, made up of basic necessities subject to a 5% customs duty. The targeting is neutral for the products in category 3. The analysis of the percentage of total consumption shows that the poor consume proportionally more goods from category 1, but proportionally fewer goods from categories 0 and 3. The poor in rural areas get more advantages from the reduced duties and taxes on products in categories 0 and 1 when compared with their urban counterparts. The results also show that the poor do not benefit from tax exemptions, with a more marked disadvantage for the rural dwellers than for city dwellers. The key challenge remains to find out how to improve the effects and benefits of the CET in favour of the poor. Other than resolving the difficulties linked to applying the CET and the free movement of goods, improving the pro-poor characteristics of the community tariff structure requires improving the tariff targeting of the poor and the priority allocation of fiscal income obtained in favour of sectors that benefit primarily the poor.


Poor People Urban Poor Basic Necessity Custom Duty Tariff Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© International Development Research Centre 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BamakoBamakoMali
  2. 2.National Institute of StatisticsBamakoMali

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