It is more than 10 years now that the EU is implementing the EU – Cameroon Economic Partnership Agreement. This agreement has provided Cameroon with unprecedented free access to the EU market for all its products. These include bananas, aluminium, processed cocoa products, plywood and other fresh and transformed agricultural products. It was negotiated primarily to prevent a disruption of Cameroon's exports to the EU after the trade provisions of the Cotonou Agreement expired on 31 December 2007.
But how can Cameroonian economic operators take advantage of the agreement and which support does the EU offer? The EU market with its 28 Member States and over 500 million consumers brings vast opportunities for local producers and exporters but it can also seem a bit intimidating and challenging to obtain the information needed to get export ready. Via the EU Trade Helpdesk, you will also find trade statistics and can check how much of your product the EU has imported since 2002 until to date and from where. For your B2B needs, there are links to EU Chambers of commerce and industry, business directories and market places. It's all here: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/tradehelp/
The next training is planned for early May, so please regularly check the EU Delegation's facebook page link https://www.facebook.com/UE.Cameroun/ or send us an email at DELEGATION-CAMEROON-TRADENEWS@eeas.europa.eu for more information.
Concerning imports from the EU, the Cameroonian authorities have started cutting tariffs on two categories of products since August 2016. Those products are mainly input for the processing industry, transport and construction and your business might be able benefit from it as well. Cameroon has excluded a number of agricultural and non-agricultural processed goods from liberalisation of EU imports, mainly to ensure the protection of certain sensitive agricultural markets and industries but also to maintain fiscal revenues. The excluded products include most types of meat, wines and spirits, malt, milk products, flour, certain vegetables, wood and wood products, used clothes and textiles, paintings, and used tyres.
All products are listed in ANNEX III of the agreement: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=OJ:L:2009:057:FULL&from=EN
Additionally to the Trade Helpdesk service, the EU has supported Cameroon's business climate and private sector development through a programme on custom’s modernisation and another one on upgrading of enterprises and quality amounting 24.9 million EUR under the 10th EDF for the last 10 years. The EU is preparing a project to improve business climate and competitiveness of the private sector through direct support to Cameroonian enterprises under the 11th EDF with an indicative amount of 10 million EUR that will start in early 2019.