Will the AfCFTA generate NTB related Disputes?
When private sector stakeholders are encouraged to report instances of encountering NTBs on a public monitoring platform such as tradebarriers.org, the assumption is that their complaints will be resolved through appropriate remedial action. The frequently encountered NTBs involve customs operations and border documentation requirements, rules of origin documentation, pre-shipment inspections, sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTs).
The manner in which African countries trade amongst themselves (the bulk of the exported goods are transported by road and are cleared by different national border agencies and authorities) suggests how many urgent NTB-related problems should be addressed: Corridor management and transport regimes should be harmonized, one-stop border posts should be established and e-filing of clearance documentation should become standard practice.
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