Domestic and Foreign Market Access

The Togolese Republic, located in the region of Sub-Saharan Africa, is classified as one of the poorest countries in the world. Having attained the completion point under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative in December 2010, Togo was afforded debt cancellations which have significantly reduced its outstanding external debt to GDP ratio. Togo continues to depend on transfers from abroad, notably development aid, for its long-term financing. Overall, the Togolese economy remains vulnerable to external shocks, including weather factors and fluctuations in global commodity prices. This vulnerability is aggravated by the lingering effects of Togo's protracted socio-political crisis. 

WEF, 2012, Global Enabling Trade Report
WTO, 2012, Trade policy review (Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo)

Trade Policy and Market Access

 Togo has been a WTO member since May 1995. Togo’s average MFN applied tariff in 2012 was 11.9 per cent. Agricultural imports face higher barriers (14.6 per cent) compared to non-agricultural imports (11.5 per cent). Apart from the WTO, Togo is also involved in regional trading schemes. Particularly the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are expected to help resolve certain aspects of the constraints linked to the small size of its market. Although the country has applied the WAEMU CET, which has four tariff bands of 0 per cent, 5 per cent, 10 per cent, and 20 per cent, its tariff structure is in the process of change pursuant to the implementation of ECOWAS CET, which has the fifth tariff band of 35 per cent. According to the available statistics, the structure of Togo’s imports has not changed significantly since 2005. Leading imports include fuel, food products, materials and equipment, vehicles, clinker and medicines. The European Union is still the main source of merchandise imports followed by China, Thailand and Côte d'Ivoire. Togo exports goods primarily to Africa, especially Burkina Faso, Benin, Niger, Ghana and Nigeria. The strong regional focus displayed by Togo's exports appears to be attributable, in part, to the strength of transit trade.

WTO, 2012, Tariff profile (Togo)

Standard Compliance and Other Relevant Import/Export Restrictions

 Togo has not notified the WTO of any sanitary or phytosanitary (SPS) measures. The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MAEP) is the authority responsible for animal health, phytosanitary protection and the quality of agricultural whilst The Ministry of Health responsible for sanitary protection, hygiene and basic sanitation. Togo is yet to initiate a national SPS committee, whilst the government seeks to control products of animal or plant origin released for consumption on the domestic market. So far, Togo has not yet established its technical barrier to trade (TBT) enquiry point, and it has initiated two notifications to WTO TBT committee regarding safety and environmental protection respectively. A structured national framework has been adopted in 2009 to govern standardization, approval, certification, accreditation, metrology, the environment and promotion of quality. Yet, Togo’s domestic practice in standardization is constrained by its technical and financial capacity, resulting in a lack of control and national standard. More technical and financial assistance is in need in order to support Togo’s further compliance with international standard.

WTO, 2012, Trade Policy Review (Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo)

WTO, accessed in 2014, TBT Information Management System