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Morocco to impose new import tariffs on all online purchases from July 1

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From July 1, Morocco will commence the imposition of new import tariffs on all online purchases from abroad in a bid to tackle unfair competition and crack down on illicit trend of online shopping.

The Moroccan Administration of Customs and Indirect Taxes (ADII) announced the measure on Friday, saying the decision to impose the new import tariffs all products purchased online is meant to protect consumers.

“Starting July 1, 2022, purchases made via international e-commerce platforms will be excluded from import duty exemptions, regardless of value,” a statement from the ADII said.

The regulatory body added that the provision does not apply to shipments without commercial character received from abroad whose value does not exceed MAD 1,250 ($125), which will continue to benefit from the ADII decree’s customs exemption.

The statement said the decision follows an examination by the ADII of the notable development and turnover some foreign platforms obtained in Morocco through online purchases, which surpassed MAD 1 billion ($99 million) in 2021.

The ADII said it discovered that the worrying trend was the result of illicit acts, and it also found that shipments delivered by some international e-commerce platforms comprise large-quantity import operations under the cover of customs facilities given for extraordinary shipments, not of a commercial character and low-value commodities.

“In order to remedy this situation, the strengthening of customs control over e-commerce shipments has proved necessary, which is why it was decided to amend the provisions of Article 190-e)-2° of Decree No. 2-77-862 framing exceptional shipments devoid of any commercial character,” it said.

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World Bank predicts Mozambique economy growing at 5.7% on average

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The World Bank has predicted that the economic growth in Mozambique is expected to accelerate in the medium term averaging 5.7% between 2022 and 2024, as a result of demand recovery and economy benefits from the start of liquefied natural gas production this year.

In a report released Thursday, the World Bank said the start of LNG production at the offshore Coral Project and the expected resumption of other LNG projects would help spur the southeast African nation’s growth in the intervening year.

The World Bank said a three-year extended credit facility arrangement agreed by Mozambique with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and budget support from other partners would further help to strengthen its economic recovery.

The IMF’s executive board had, in May, approved a $456 million program for the country, the first since the global lender suspended support to Mozambique six years ago.

However, the World Bank warned that risks remained for Mozambique’s growth, especially from rising import prices due to the conflict in Ukraine, a possible surge in COVID infection waves, and insurgency in the north.

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Nigeria, Algeria, Niger to revive Saharan gas pipeline talks

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The governments of Nigeria, Algeria and Niger Republic have held talks to revive a gas pipeline project across the Sahara which had been put on hold for over 40 years, with the potential opportunity for Europe to diversify its gas sources as the world faces a short fall as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war.

The three countries, represented by their various Petroleum Ministers, met in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday and resolved to set up a task force to revive the project and designated an entity to update the feasibility study.

A statement by Niger’s Oil Ministry after the two-day meeting stated that the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project estimated at $13 billion, could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.

The statement added that the energy ministers of the three countries will meet again in Algiers at the end of July to “validate the proposals of the newly installed task force.”

“The pipeline should allow Europe to diversify its sources of natural gas supply but also allow several African states to access this high value energy source,” the statement said.

“With a length of 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles), the pipeline would start in Warri, Nigeria, and end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe,” it said.

The gas pipeline idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago with an agreement signed between the three countries in 2009, but progress stalled stalled following a lack of follow through by the countries.

Earlier this month, Nigeria also took steps to revive another gas pipeline project that would pass through West Africa, Morocco to Europe.

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