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Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper

Customs, Brokers, and Informal Sectors : A Cameroon Case Study

ACCOUNTING AMOUNT OF DUTIES AREA OF CUSTOMS BANK ACCOUNT BARRIER TO ENTRY BARRIERS TO ENTRY BOTTLENECKS BROKER BROKERAGE BROKERS BUSES BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT BUSINESS FORMATION BUSINESS MODEL BUSINESS MODELS BUSINESS RELATIONS BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS BUSINESS SERVICES BUSINESSES CAR CARS CHECKS COLLATERAL COMMERCE COMMODITY COMPUTER HARDWARE COMPUTERS CREDIT ASSOCIATIONS CREDIT MARKET CUSTOMER BASE CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS CUSTOMS CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATION CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATIONS CUSTOMS AGENT CUSTOMS AREA CUSTOMS BROKERS CUSTOMS CLEARANCE CUSTOMS CONTROL CUSTOMS DUTIES CUSTOMS INFORMATION CUSTOMS OFFICE CUSTOMS OFFICERS CUSTOMS OFFICES CUSTOMS OFFICIALS CUSTOMS PROCESS CUSTOMS REFORM CUSTOMS REGULATIONS CUSTOMS REVENUES DAY-TO-DAY MANAGEMENT DEVELOPING COUNTRIES DEVELOPMENT BANK DIRECT SALES ECONOMIC ACTIVITY ELECTRONIC DEVICES END CUSTOMERS ENTRY POINT FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS FINANCIAL INCENTIVES FINANCIAL RESOURCES FOREIGN TRADE FRAUD FREIGHT ID IMAGE INFORMATION ASYMMETRIES INFORMATION ASYMMETRY INFORMATION FLOWS INFORMATION SHARING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INTEREST RATE INTERNATIONAL BANK INTERNATIONAL TRADE LEVEL OF RISK LIABILITY LICENSE LICENSES LITIGATION MANUFACTURING MARKET DEMAND MARKET FAILURES MARKET SEGMENT MARKET STRUCTURE MARKETING MARKETING STRATEGIES MATERIAL MEDIUM ENTERPRISES MIDDLEMEN MORAL HAZARD NECESSARY SKILLS NEIGHBORHOODS NETWORKS OPEN ACCESS OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY PERFORMANCES PERSONAL INCOME PETROLEUM PRODUCTS POLICE POLITICAL ECONOMY PORT AUTHORITY PRODUCT CATEGORY PRODUCTIVITY PROFIT MARGINS PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REBATES REGIONAL NETWORKS RELIABILITY RESULT RESULTS RETURN RISK EXPOSURE RISK PROFILE ROUTE SAVINGS SAVINGS RATE SERVICE PROVIDER SMALL BUSINESS SOCIAL CAPITAL SPOT MARKET SPOT MARKET TRANSACTIONS STANDARDIZATION STOCKS SUPPLY CHAIN TAX TAX IDENTIFICATION NUMBER TAX IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS TAX RATES TAXATION TELEPHONE TIRES TRACEABILITY TRADE FACILITATION TRADING TRANSACTION TRANSIT TRANSIT SERVICE TRANSIT SERVICE PROVIDER TRANSIT SERVICES TRANSPORT TRANSPORT POLICY TRUE VALUE CHAIN VEHICLE VEHICLES WAGES WAREHOUSE WAREHOUSES WEB WORKING CAPITAL
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Cameroon
2014-03-18T21:36:36Z | 2014-03-18T21:36:36Z | 2014-02

Based on extensive interviews with informal importers and brokers in Cameroon, this paper explains why customs reform aimed at reducing fraud and corruption may be difficult to achieve. Informal traders and brokers (without licenses) follow various business models and practices, which are product-specific. Overall, what matters first are customs brokers' practices. Information asymmetries mark transactions between brokers and importers and are accompanied by misperceptions of the costs and risks of informal brokers working among informal importers. In a low-governance environment with widespread informal practices, blanket policies should be avoided in order to discourage activities of unprofessional and systematic bribe-taker brokers. It is also essential that customs officials disrupt information asymmetries and better disseminate information to informal importers on customs processes and official costs. Finally, customs should more strongly sanction some informal brokers in order to reduce collusion with some customs officers.

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