247985 Advocacy for Explicit HS Tariff Codes for Insecticide Treated Bednets to Facilitate Trade and Increase Access to Life-saving Malaria Control Commodities

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 3:10 PM

A. Elisabeth Sommerfelt, MD , Global Health, Population and Nutrition Group, Academy for Educational Developement, Washington, DC
Halima A. Mwenesi, PhD , Arts, Malaria Taxes and Tariffs Advocacy Project, Washinton, DC
The UN recognizes the need for multi-sectoral involvement for successful malaria control and elimination. In addition to contributions from international donors and public sector engagement, large-scale private sector involvement is required for increased access to life-saving interventions. International/regional forums have called for elimination/reduction of taxes and tariffs on anti-malaria commodities such as (long-lasting) insecticide treated bednets (ITNs/LLINs). Leaders of African countries (where most malaria deaths occur) have made commitments to eliminate/reduce taxes and tariffs on anti-malaria commodities. The online database of the Geneva-based International Trade Center, a joint UN-WTO body, contains information on tariff codes (and associated descriptions and tariff percentages) using the Harmonized System (HS), is internationally consistent across countries at the 6-digit level. Countries can add country-specific codes. Analyzing ITN/LLIN information from this database, we present detailed findings on tariff codes, descriptions, and percentages for 76 countries. About half of malaria-endemic countries have explicit bednet tariff codes. Codes and descriptions vary greatly. Most Francophone West-African countries have one tariff code, the description referring to “moustiquaires impregnee”. East-African countries have one code, referring to “mosquito nets” (presumably intended for ITNs/LLINs). Some countries, e.g. Madagascar, have many codes. Some of the descriptions distinguish between untreated and treated bednets, others refer to “hand-made” bednets, etc. For countries without specific bednet tariff codes/descriptions, we describe a methodology to infer approximate tariff percentages. Advocacy for clear, explicit, unambiguous HS tariff codes/descriptions for ITNs/LLINs is urgently needed to (i) encourage trade in these life-saving products, and (ii) allow assessment of progress to eliminate/reduce tariffs.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the proportion of countries without tariff code description specifically referring to bednets (or ITNs/LLINs). 2. Discuss the different tariff codes and descriptions used by countries for ITNs/LLINs. 3. Describe the large differences in tariff percentages on ITNs/LLINs across countries. 4. Articulate the importance of clear, explicit, and unambiguous tariff codes (and descriptions) for ITNs/LLINs.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Pediatrician who has worked extensively for over 25 years with colleagues in Africa and Asia on topics related to advocacy to reduce maternal mortality, increase newborn survival, and decrease the malaria burden through increased use of malaria control commodities; written on domestic violence against women. Carried out the data assessment and analyses. Have no conflict of interest.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.