In almost African countries, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning sector, paradoxically considered prestigious, is subject to exorbitant customs duties on the import of equipment. Round up of a nomenclature that weights the development.
In Africa, it is high time that the customs nomenclature on Refrigeration & Air Conditioning products and equipment undergoes a major overhaul. Inconsistently, these mostly imported products are subject to excessively high taxes bordering on 111%. Need we remind you that this transversal sector remains highly strategic for a “equatorial & tropical” continent?!
Except for few African countries, where manufacturers have installed assembly units, all equipment and consumables for Refrigeration & Air Conditioning are imported. How in this case to boost the development of industries in general, of health, and especially to bring more added value to the innumerable agricultural resources? Among the members of U-3ARC who shared the cumulative customs duty rates, 5 groups can be distinguished.
Undoubtedly, Sudan (111%) and Zimbabwe (80%) are at the top of the countries that do nothing to encourage the sector at home. One could have said that they contribute to its lethargy.
In countries such as Togo (66%), Congo (55%), Senegal (53%), Chad (51%) and Cameroon (50%), where Refrigeration & Air Conditioning equipment and products are taxed at least half of their values, public decision-makers still believe they are dealing with prestige. However, there is nothing. The Refrigeration & Air Conditioning sector both catalyses and greatly contributes to economic growth.
With taxation between 50 and 40%, Nigeria (48%), Burkina Faso (48%), Rwanda (48%), Mali (44%), Tunisia (44%), Uganda (43 %), Tanzania (43%), Burundi (43%), Malawi (42%) and Lesotho (40%) should revise downwards such rates to support a sector of vital importance for the growth of the different branches capable of supporting development.
Efforts to be made
Niger, Benin, Zambia, D.R. Congo, Comoros, Egypt, Djibouti, Namibia; Madagascar, South Africa, and Liberia, with respective rates ranging from 39 to 30%; are in the antechamber of countries that appreciate the sector. While waiting to establish a real Refrigeration & Air Conditioning industry within them, they can reduce these taxes a little more and facilitate its growth.
Finally, Kenya (22%), Algeria and Morocco, with 23% customs duties for these last two countries, are among the leading countries that have put the Refrigeration & Air Conditioning sector in its rightful place. Nevertheless, efforts still need to be made to further facilitate its expansion.
Generally, import duties are high to protect a sector locally. While waiting for African States to develop design and industry in this sector, they would benefit from reducing these taxes, given the importance of this cross-cutting and highly strategic sector.