As the process of eliminating tariffs on sensitive products continues until 2012, there is still potential for expansion of intra-SADC trade, given that most of the products are on the sensitive list, such as textiles and clothing, leather and leather products. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Trade Protocol (1996), as amended in 2010, is one of the main legal instruments guiding SADC`s trade activities. It is an agreement between SADC member States to reduce tariffs and other barriers to trade for products imported between SADC member States. The protocol provided for the creation of a free trade area in the region. The regional indicative strategic development plan aimed to achieve the SADC free trade area by 2008 and a customs union by 2010. SADC continues to work towards the effective implementation of the free trade area and to assist member States in improving the capacity of member States to enter into trade negotiations and implement trade agreements. The SADC Free Trade Area was achieved in August 2008, when a gradual programme of customs reductions, which began in 2001, resulted in minimum conditions for the free trade area – 85% of intra-regional trade between partner countries reached zero tariffs. Trade is fundamental to the economic development of a region. However, it also has broader benefits that support the process of regional integration. Nations that increase trade with others by liberalizing trade policy increase economic growth and improve the quality of life of their people.
Relative to SADC trade as a whole, intra-SADC trade increased from only 15.7 per cent to 18.5 per cent over the same period. SADC aims to facilitate trade by simplifying, harmonizing, standardizing and modernizing regional customs procedures. In the future, SADC builds on the benefits of the free trade area in its next objective, namely the creation of a customs union that would add to the region`s internal free trade a common external right against third countries. The ultimate goal is a saDC common market, which offers the benefits of internal free trade, common law and the free movement of labour and capital between member states. Mauritian operators trading in the region are urged to use the online system to report NTB. The site lists the different types of NTBs that can be reported on the system. Once the complaint is registered in the database, it is registered with a reference number. This reference number can be used to control who is responsible for the management of the declared NTB and any specific results. The online system also publishes reports of procedural, legislative or regulatory changes announced by Member States in the three CIs, so that all distributors can be continuously informed of commercial requirements.
Sign up here to access free tools such as favorites and notifications or access to personal subscriptions SADC is increasingly supporting free trade as part of its poverty eradication program in Southern Africa. As part of its long-term regional integration objectives, SADC established a free trade area in 2008. . . .