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SACU Legal Texts and Policy Documents

SACU Legal Texts and Policy Documents

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Background

The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) was established in 1910 through the Customs Union Agreement of 1910 between the Union of South Africa and the three so-called High Commission Territories of Bechuanaland (now Botswana), Basutoland (now Lesotho) and Swaziland. The 1969 Customs Union Agreement between South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland replaced the 1910 Agreement. Namibia became a contracting party to the 1969 Agreement in 1990 upon its independence from South Africa. The SACU Agreement was renegotiated during the mid-1990s and culminated in its signing on 21 October 2002. The new SACU Agreement entered into force in 2004. For more information go to the SACU website.

Treaties

  • 1910 SACU Agreement (PDF, 25 KB)
  • 1969 SACU Agreement (PDF, 110 KB)
  • 2002 SACU Agreement (including Annex 1) (PDF, 933 KB)
    • Annexes To SACU Agreement (PDF, 191 KB)
    • Amendments to the SACU Agreement of 2002 to Institutionalise the SACU Summit (PDF, 1.71 MB)
  • Rules Of Procedure SACU Institutions (PDF, 111 KB)
  • Head Quarters Agreement (PDF, 1.56 MB)
  • SACU Customs Policy (PDF, 410 KB)

Domestic Legislation

The SACU Agreement provides for the establishment of an independent institution, the Tariff Board, to make recommendations concerning changes in the common external tariff, tariff rebates and drawbacks, trade remedies (anti-dumping and countervailing action) and safeguards to the Council of Ministers. The Tariff Board must act on recommendations given to it by the National Bodies within the respective member states. The Tariff Board and National Bodies (with the exception of South Africa) are yet to be established.

South Africa established its National Body, the International Trade Administration Commission, in 2003 in terms of the International Trade Administration Act 71 of 2003. The International Trade Administration Commission is currently operating on behalf of the customs union.

  • International Trade Administration Act 71 of 2003 (PDF, 1755 KB)
  • Amended Safeguard Regulations (PDF, 428 KB)
  • Countervailing Regulations (PDF, 400 KB)
  • Anti-Dumping Regulations (PDF, 1.9 MB)

SACU-US Trade, Investment and Development Cooperation Agreement (TIDCA)

The SACU and the United States of America (US) concluded a Cooperative Agreement to promote investment and expand and diversify trade on 16 July 2008. A Consultative Group on Trade and Investment was established with the aims of, inter alia, endeavouring to conclude mutually beneficial trade- and investment-enhancing agreements; monitoring trade and investment relations between SACU and the US and identifying opportunities for expanding trade and investment; identifying and working to remove impediments to trade and investment between SACU and the US; considering trade capacity building assistance and/or cooperation; and promoting increased contact between the private sectors in SACU and the United States to facilitate the expansion of trade and investment.

  • Cooperative Agreement between the United States and SACU to Foster Trade, Investment and Development (PDF, 31 KB)

SACU-EFTA Agreement

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) comprises Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. In May 2003 negotiations commenced for a free trade agreement between SACU and EFTA. The SACU-EFTA agreement was signed in 2005 and entered into force on 1 May 2008 and is currently phased in over a period of 10 years. The agreement will in due course allow substantially all trade to move duty free between SACU and EFTA. The text of the main agreement and its various annexes follow below:

  • SACU-EFTA Free Trade Agreement (PDF, 67 KB)
    • Annex I: Territorial Application (PDF, 8 KB)
    • Annex II: Products Not Covered by the Agreement (PDF, 13 KB)
    • Annex III: Processed Agricultural Products (PDF, 11 KB)
    • Annex III Table (PDF, 44 KB)
    • Annex IV: Fish and Other Marine Products (PDF, 23 KB)
    • Annex V: Definition of the Concept of “Originating Products” and Methods of Administrative Co-Operation (PDF, 65 KB)
      • Appendix 1 to Annex V: Introductory Notes to the List in Appendix 2 (PDF, 25 KB)
      • Appendix 2 to Annex V: List of working or processing required to be carried out on non-originating materials in order that the product manufactured can obtain originating status (PDF, 226 KB)
      • Appendix 3 to Annex V: Specimens of movement certificate EUR 1 and application for a movement certificate EUR 1 (PDF, 21 KB)
    • Annex VI: Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters (PDF, 24 KB)
    • Annex VII: Customs Duties on Imports into SACU (PDF, 31 KB)
    • Annex VII Table 1: Market access provided by SACU on products falling within Chapters 25 to 98 (PDF, 583 KB)
    • Annex VII Table 2: Market access provided by SACU on processed agricultural products (PDF, 28 KB)
    • Annex VIII: Industrial Products Under ITAC Investigation (PDF, 10 KB)
  • Agriculture SACU FTA Agreement with Iceland (PDF, 91 KB)
  • Agriculture SACU FTA Agreement with Norway (PDF, 266 KB)
  • Agriculture SACU FTA Agreement with Switzerland (PDF, 264 KB)

SACU-Mercosur Preferential Trade Agreement

The Southern Common Market (Mercosur) consists of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. The negotiations to conclude the preferential trade agreement commenced in December 2002. The SACU-Mercosur agreement was signed in December 2004 and was the first agreement that SACU concluded in accordance with the provisions of the 2002 SACU Agreement. This agreement was also the first agreement that SACU concluded with another developing regional trading partner. The Agreement laid out a framework for formal trade relations and included a built-in agenda to finalise the negotiating process on some outstanding issues including customs cooperation, the automotive industry, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, and rules of origin.

The Preferential Trade Agreement Between the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), was signed on 15 December 2008, in Salvador, Brazil; and on 3 April, 2009 in Maseru, Lesotho. After being ratified by all signatory parties, the Mercosur-SACU PTA between entered into force on 1 April 2016. The agreement and its various annexes follow below:

  • Preferential Trade Agreement between Mercosur and SACU - April 2009 (PDF, 65 KB)
  • Preferential Trade Agreement between Mercosur and SACU with signatures (PDF, 1.22 MB)
    • Annexes (PDF, 527 KB)
    • Annex III Originating products (PDF, 63 KB)
    • Appendix to Annex III Origin (PDF, 63 KB)
    • Annex V Dispute Settlement (PDF, 30 KB)
  • Mercosur-SACU Preferential Trade Agreement enters into force - 1 April 2016, Spanish (PDF, 16 KB)
  • Preferential Trade Agreement between Mercosur and SACU - Consolidated text, Spanish (PDF, 5.57 MB)
  • Preferences granted by Mercosur to SACU (Excel, 114 KB)
  • Preferences granted by Sacu to Mercosur (Excel, 148 KB)
  • Understanding between SACU and Mercosur (PDF, 22 KB)

Status update

Status of Agreements concluded by the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) States

  • Status of Agreements as at 30 September 2016 (PDF, 265 KB)

 WTO Trade Policy Review of SACU

One of the functions of the WTO is to conduct periodic reviews of the trade policies and practices of its members. The most recent review of SACU’s trade policies by the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB) took place in Geneva on 4 & 6 November 2015. The report and its various annexes follow below:

  • Report by the Secretariat (PDF, 303 KB)
  • Report by SACU (PDF, 281 KB)
    • Annex 1 Botswana (PDF, 582 KB)
    • Annex 2 Kingdom of Lesotho (PDF, 457 KB)
    • Annex 3 Namibia (PDF, 508 KB)
    • Annex 4 South Africa (PDF, 512 KB)
    • Annex 5 Kingdom of Swaziland (PDF, 428 KB)

The previous assessment was conducted in September 2009. The documents from the review are provided below:

  • Report by the Secretariat (PDF, 1.37 MB)
    • Annex 1 Botswana (PDF, 1.18 MB)
    • Annex 2 Kingdom of Lesotho (PDF, 660 KB)
    • Annex 3 Namibia (PDF, 1.04 MB)
    • Annex 4 South Africa (PDF, 1.69 MB)
    • Annex 5 Kingdom of Swaziland (PDF, 855 KB)

While tralac endeavours to list current legal instruments, we cannot accept responsibility or liability for any inaccuracies or omissions. The negotiation, ratification, implementation and/or modification of these instruments is an ongoing process and not always well-reported or updated by the relevant authorities. All documents are in English unless stated otherwise.

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