CUSTOMS OF CAPE VERDE: REFORMATION IN PROGRESS

CUSTOMS OF CAPE VERDE: REFORMATION IN PROGRESS

Customs of Cape Verde, ever since the independence of Cape Verde from Portugal in 1975, has pretty much put its people in disadvantageous situations. Some of these disadvantageous situations include:

  • The ability for Cape Verdeans to receive desperately needed help from immigrant family members and relatives abroad via “tambors” (barrels). Every Cape Verdean in Cape Verde is subject to pay a fee that is determined by the licensed official inspecting the barrel. The official would determined the fee based on his subjective evaluation of the price of each barrel. And on top of it all, the bureaucracy and time it takes to receive your barrel is extensive and horrendous.
  • The ability for non profit institutions in Cape Verde to receive direct assistance from individuals and institutions abroad. Customs of Cape Verde imposes strict and elevated tariffs on these donations. So high the tariffs can be for DONATIONS that many individuals and institutions no longer send donations to Cape Verde.
  • The ability for Cape Verdeans to compete in commerce in Cape Verde. The reason is because the tariffs are so high for Cape Verdeans to withdraw commerce merchandise while their counterpart merchants, the Chinese, have tariffs exemptions from Customs of Cape Verde.
  • The ability for a Cape Verdean to own a car in Cape Verde. Having a car, any type of car in Cape Verde, is considered an enormous luxury that about 85% percent of Cape Verdeans can never experience. The primary reason is because customs Of Cape Verde places a high tariff on cars that is so exuberant that at times it can be 80 – 100% the value of the car.

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SO, WHERE’S THE PROGRESS?

As many have kept up with the #nada movement, a movement for custom laws reformation in Cape Verde, the Government of Cape Verde has officially declared changes in custom laws due primarily to the pressure imposed by this very movement, #nada.

The Government approved a decree law amending the previous Decree-Law No. 04/23/2014, which approves the regulation of Customs Code to end the delay in customs clearance and to eliminate all bureaucracy.

As stated at the press meeting, upon concluding the weekly meeting of the Ministers of Cape Verde, by Abraão Vicente, Minister of Cutlure and Creative Industries and spokesperson for the week’s meeting:

“ALL CLAIMS (BARRELS, ETC.) WILL HAVE A FLAT RATE AND WILL NOT BE DEPENDENT ON THE ASSESSMENT OF THE PERSON WHO IS IN CUSTOMS. THAT IS, FROM NOW ON WHOEVER SENDS A BARREL OR BOX WILL ALREADY KNOW THE PRICE TO TAKE IT OUT OF CUSTOMS BEFOREHAND. WE WILL HAVE A FIXED TABLE. THE CLAMI WILL NOT BE EVALUATED AT ALL ACCORDING TO THE CONTENTS IN THE BARREL OR BOX. OUR AIM IS TO AVOID SUBJECTIVE EVALUATIONS BY LICENSED PERSONNEL.”

This is a major victory for the people of Cape Verde and for Cape Verdean immigrants sending barrels, boxes, etc., to loved ones in Cape Verde. No longer will the price they pay to withdraw their shipment be dependent or subject to an individual persons evaluation, opinion, subjectivity, etc.

However, the Cape Verdean people remain suspenseful as the government has yet to announce what the “fixed” amount will be.

WHAT ELSE?

Because it was also announced, that by year’s end, 2019, there will be an introduction of scanners in Customs of Cape Verde, Cape Verdeans will no longer be subject to the embarrassment and invasion of privacy due to the fact that they, currently, have to empty their barrels out fully in front of countless people for a subjective evaluation.

This also limits the possibility of theft. A win-win situation for Cape Verdeans.

Plus not to mention the security factor introduced by scanners. With scanners you can readily identify if there are any illicit drugs, artillery or firearms in any of the barrels.

THERE’S MUCH WORK TO BE DONE

THESE MEASURES ARE WELCOMED AND HAVE BEEN OVERDUE, TO SAY THE LEAST, FOR THE LAST 44 YEARS. THAT IS, SINCE THE INDEPENDENCE OF CAPE VERDE.

However, there is more to be done. The government of Cape Verde did not mention anything about other demands imposed by the Cape Verdean people. They include:

• Exemptions for donations for Cape Verdeans and Cape Verdean non profit institutions. That is, eliminate completely the help, via donations, that come from Cape Verdeans and institutions abroad.

  • Exemptions at Customs of Cape Verde for Cape Verde’s commerce people. Such exemptions exist for the Chinese commerce people and they are being demanded for Cape Verde’s commerce people as well. Without such exemptions Cape Verdean commerce people will never be able to compete with the Chinese, in their own country. For more on this read: THE CHINESE TAKEOVER OF COMMERCE IN CAPE VERDE…AND BEYOND!
  • Fixed price on car imports. Cape Verdeans want a similar table as the one for shipments, barrels, etc. That is, a fixed price on car imports. That fixed price can be determined based on the type of car. For example, the price of import would be fixed on a car dependent on whether it’s an SUV, sedan, sports car, etc.

CONCLUSION

ONLY WHEN THESE OTHER DEMANDS ARE MET WILL THE PEOPLE OF CAPE VERDE PROCLAIM A TOTAL VICTORY. UNTIL THEN, #nada.

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