African Continental Free Trade Agreement: Comparative analysis of tariff offers
36 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification of the AfCFTA; 41 countries have submitted their schedules of tariff concessions. The tariff offers available are those of CEMAC, EAC, ECOWAS, SACU, Malawi, Mauritius, and São Tomé and Príncipe. These are compared to determine the product and tariff line coverage of the tariff offers.
Tariff and rules of origin (RoO) negotiations are not yet complete. Agreed RoO cover approximately 81% of tariff lines. June 2021 is the deadline to complete the RoO and tariff negotiations. There is an interim arrangement for trade to take place from 1 January 2021. Trade in goods, for which RoO are finalised, can take place under the tabled tariff offers. These offers must comply with the agreed modalities for tariff negotiations:
tariffs on 90% of tariff lines are to be eliminated. These are tariffs on non-sensitive goods. Non-Least Developed Countries liberalise tariffs of non-sensitive goods over 5 years and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) over 10 years.
7% of tariff lines can be sensitive goods. Non-Least Developed Countries liberalise tariffs of sensitive goods over 10 years and LDCs over 13 years.
3% of tariff lines can be excluded from liberalisation. The value of these imports may not exceed 10% of total intra-Africa imports.
The base rates for tariff offers are the applied Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariffs for individual countries and the applied Common External Tariffs (CETs) for customs unions and ECOWAS.