SADC Simplified Trade Regime: Tracing developments and implementation progress
The central objectives of Southern African Development Community (SADC) include economic development and growth, poverty alleviation, enhancement of the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Southern Africa, as well as supporting the socially disadvantaged through regional integration. To achieve these goals, SADC Member States have adopted a comprehensive agenda with Protocols that cover a broad range of areas of cooperation and integration.
The Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) trade agenda plays an important role in supporting the achievement of SADC’s broader milestones of economic development and poverty eradication for all (small scale and informal cross-border traders included). This agenda focuses on the liberalisation of trade in goods and trade in services, and includes a simplified trade regime (STR) under the SADC Trade Facilitation Programme 2020-2030. When properly implemented, the STR presents a number of economic advantages and trade facilitation-related benefits: it provides accessible information on trade with other Member States of the SADC Free Trade Area (FTA), reduced clearance costs at the borders, elimination of delays in the clearing of products through the use of simplified certificates of origin and simplified customs documents, readily available assistance from the technical information desk officers, and dedicated lanes for immigration and customs clearance, among others.
Despite the scant official information available on the proposed SADC STR and lack of updates particularly in the public domain, this Trade Brief takes a look at some of the key developments and implementation progress of the STR by SADC.
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