ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS)

ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) is a trade instrument designed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The scheme offers unhindered market access to the fifteen member Countries and promotes economic relations within the sub-region. Countries covered by the Scheme are; Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde.




ETLS benefits

  1. The ETLS gruarantees free movement of goods and persons between member countries
  2. No quantitative restrictions
  3. Total exemption from import duties and taxes
  4. Non-payment of compensation for loss of revenue for items (ii) and (iii) as a result of their importation




To qualify for admission into the ETLS such products must originate from the ECOWAS region. The following are the three criteria for admission of products into the scheme.

  • At least 60% local content of products
  • At least 30% value addition for products
  • Change of tariff headings (reflected in HS-code)



Approval procedure

To get approval for the ETLS, you must fill  an application form. Below are the required documents .

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • NAFDAC / SON product registration certificate
  • NEPC Exporters’ certificate
  • Evidence of registration with MAN
  • Evidence of registration with NACCIMA


Your application letter with the completed application form and attached documents should be submitted to:

The Honourable Minister
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Tafawa Balewa House,
Central Business Area, Abuja.


The full application will be presented to the National Approvals Committee. When the application is approved, you will be notified by the Ministry and get the corresponding certificate.


Check out the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme website for:

  • additional background information
  • complete explanation on procedure
  • database of approved products
  • details of member countries