Trade and Custom Policies that Impact the Education Sector: Presentations

A group of global education supply chain management professionals met for a presentation by Manuel Henriques (World Bank) and Christophe Barth (blueTree Group).  The session was led by Sangeeta Jobanputra. The speakers brought years of experience on issues around trade and dealing with custom policies that impact trade and the education sector.

Key points included:

  1. There are a significant number of regulatory agencies involved in the movement of goods and people.
  2. Tariff rates and custom duties usually include customs duties, custom processing fees, excise taxes, and document fees. However, many other charges are often included, such as transportation charges, demurrage fees, inspection fees, customs clearance fees, warehousing fees, delivery charges,  VGA, scanning fees, and additional logistical chain fees that may be consolidated on invoices to the importer as ‘customs and other charges’.
  3. For the education sector, the duties charged vary based on the products imported and can range anywhere from 0% to as high as 100%, with most in the range of 20%. Education materials include items such as notebooks, binders, folders, pens, blackboards etc.
  4. Customs rates are usually set by the Ministry of Finance, with the Customs Bureau usually acting as the administrative arm for implementation. Advocacy needs to be targeted to the right group.
  5. There is an effort globally, regionally, and in countries to reduce red tape and accelerate customs processes.
  6. In the case of books and education materials, books are often mixed with other imports, which delays the clearance process.
  7. Currently over 90–95% of the books in Africa are printed outside the continent.
  8. Tariffs on paper can be as high as 10–15%.
  9. Local printers are at a significant disadvantage due to these tariffs, leading to locally printed materials to be at a 15% or higher cost.
  10. While the downstream distribution cost of imported or local produced books may be the same or less for imported books, the lead time for delivery of local books can shorter.


Please click on the links below to read the complete presentations of these issues. 

blueTree Discussion on customs issues educational material apr20

Ethiopia Taxes and Duties_30.03.2020