SACU members need to harmonise border control policies
There is need to harmonise all the border control polices amongst the different Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) member states to promote regional trade.
Ministry of Commerce Industry and Trade International Trade Department Senior Trade Policy Analyst Mluleki Dlamini said currently, SACU does not have common policies and furthermore the regional bloc does not have common institutions.
Dlamini was speaking yesterday during a workshop organised by the Global Economic Governance Africa in conjunction with the Federation of Swaziland Employers and Chamber of Commerce (FSE&CC) held at the Royal Villas in Ezulwini.
“The supra regional organisations would aid trade development in the region which is critical for the growth of the private sector. Common policies would decrease duplication of processes which can be seen to be barriers to trade,” he said.
Dlamini said another fact worth noting was that SACU trade only applies to goods and not services.
“This is something worth looking into as there are numerous services which are conducted in the various countries which are not included under SACU,” he said.
He was responding to a question asked from the floor to ascertain the level of trade amongst SACU member states when it comes to services as opposed to goods.
He said coordination amongst the member states should be improved to increase the level of trade amongst member states.
“There needs to be more discussions amongst policy makers from member states at a regional level so as to ensure members concerns are articulated so they can be addressed within the structures of the body,” he said.
Dlamini said this was especially true when it came to the border posts, as it has been identified that the different boarder polices amongst member states was a significant barrier to trade.
He noted the duplication of costs at the border posts were amongst the main problems of cross border trade barriers.
“An example to this is that, you find that in one country a certain regulation is mandatory and everyone has to abide by it, however in the neighbouring country you find that the regulation is voluntary and it’s up to the firm owner to decide to adhere to it,” he said.
Dlamini said this causes confusion for the private sector whereas they are the sector which should be driving trade amongst states.