Niger and Benin are to interconnect their customs systems in a bid to cut down on trade-based money laundering (TBML) and smuggling.

The authorities in Benin are also specifically concerned about syndicates involved in the diversion of transit goods intended for landlocked countries such as Niger into the local market, in order to evade payment of taxes.

Electronic customs

Customs authorities in Niger and Benin agreed to launch the electronic customs interconnection between the two countries in January, according to Niger’s director general of customs, Amadou Petito Oumarou.

The launch took place at the checkpoint in Malanville, a town in Benin close to its border with Niger.

Secure borders

The interconnection is designed to combat TBML and enhance revenue capture. It also aims to curb illicit trafficking in drugs, weapons, endangered species and environmentally harmful substances.

According to Oumarou, the new system will also facilitate the movement of goods and people across the border.