How to Apply & Benefits in ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme

ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme
ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme

ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) is a trade instrument designed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The scheme offers unhindered market access to the fifteen member Countries and promotes economic relations within the sub-region. Countries covered by the Scheme are; Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde.


Read – Apply for Human Capacity Training and Empowerment for Nigerian Youth

ETLS benefits

  1. The ETLS gruarantees free movement of goods and persons between member countries
  2. No quantitative restrictions
  3. Total exemption from import duties and taxes
  4. Non-payment of compensation for loss of revenue for items (ii) and (iii) as a result of their importation


ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme Regulations

To qualify for admission into the ETLS such products must originate from the ECOWAS region. The following are the three criteria for admission of products into the scheme.

  • At least 60% local content of products
  • At least 30% value addition for products
  • Change of tariff headings (reflected in HS-code)


How to Apply & Approval procedure

To get approval for the ETLS, you must fill  an application form. Below are the required documents .

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • NAFDAC / SON product registration certificate
  • NEPC Exporters’ certificate
  • Evidence of registration with MAN
  • Evidence of registration with NACCIMA


Your application letter with the completed application form and attached documents should be submitted to:

The Honourable Minister
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Tafawa Balewa House,
Central Business Area, Abuja.


The full application will be presented to the National Approvals Committee. When the application is approved, you will be notified by the Ministry and get the corresponding certificate.


Training of Trainers on ECOWAS Preferential Treatment

In 2018, the Community revised the legal instruments relating to the ECOWAS rules of origin and origin recognition procedures. The main goal for this revision was to update and simplify the legal texts relating to the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS), while bearing in mind developments at the continental level and also respecting the commitment of members States to international organizations such as World Customs

ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme
ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme