Benin has just strengthen the marketing device of cashews. On 6 April, the Cabinet has announced the introduction of an additional levy of 50 CFA per kilogram of raw cashew nuts exported. This, regardless of the fee of 10 FCFA provided by law 2017 managing finances.
This levy is liquidated at customs before export, said an official statement. Moreover, he says, "the export of raw cashew nuts by land [is] prohibited"
For the authorities, it is to correct an "excess" of competitiveness of the Beninese cashew nuts, lightly taxed export conversely, the statement of the Cabinet, Africa competing products of West, including the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria. "This competitiveness had become an obstacle to development of the cashew processing industry in Africa in general and Benin in particular, because of the strong pressure of the international application", says the statement said Council of Ministers.
This decision, which the government aims to reduce the pressure of demand and the strong speculation, is not to the liking of the opinion that denounces an unconstitutional decision. Traders brought an action to invalidate an extent contrary to the provisions of Beninese law and Community agreements.
Indeed, under Articles 96 and 98 of the Beninese Constitution of 11 December 1990, the prerogative to set taxes or customs levy remains the exclusive competence of the National Assembly. "The base, rates and charges for covering the terms of any kind," says the text.
Moreover, overland export ban announced by Cotonou is contrary to the spirit of the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA), the Treaty in Article 4, said that the organization aims creating between member states, "a common market based on the free movement of persons, goods, services, capital and the right of establishment of self-employed persons and employed, as well as a common external tariff and a common trade policy. "
This is in addition to a system in place since the beginning of the year to organize and control the sector of cashew, second cash crop after cotton. Indeed, a joint decree of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts and the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries fixed bank deposits of 5 million FCFA for domestic marketing of nuts cashew and 20 million for export of the product.
To these drastic measures, adds this new tax intended for export to officially encourage local processing (which has drawn a premium tax of 10 CFA francs per kilo) but which may have important implications this marketing cashew campaign which started on March 3 and end on October 31 with a buy floor producer price fixed at FCFA 500 per kg against 300 CFA per kg in the previous campaign. This sensible price increase production of 120 000 to 300 000 tonnes within 5 years is more competitive than FCFA 440 per kilo set by Ivory Coast.
Cashew nuts from Benin and Ghana traded at $ 2,000 a tonne in Asian markets such as Vietnam, the world's Transformer product ahead of India and Brazil.
West Africa produces 1 700,000 tons divided between the Ivory Coast, the largest producer with 750 000 tonnes in 2016, or 47%), Guinea Bissau (225 000 tonnes, 14%), Nigeria (160 000 tonnes, 10% of production) and Benin (125 0000 tons, 8% of production). To note a lack of consultation between most African countries do not apply the same charges and the same floor price and the same standards. A third of the crops would be fed by underground networks and through neighboring countries, which represents a huge loss to the state.
The main consumers of cashew nuts (not to be confused with the processors) are India (200,000 t), the US (150,000 t), the European Union (110,000 t), China (50,000 t) the United Arab Emirates (15,000 tons) and Australia (15,000 t).