The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) – Creating One African Market
On 21 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, the vast majority of Member States of the African Union (AU) signed the agreement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The AfCFTA is set to create a single continental market for goods and services to boost intra-Africa trade, economic growth and development. Since then, many Member States have also ratified the Agreement. The AfCFTA has come into force on 30 May 2019.
Non-Tariff Barriers – and how to break them down
Low levels of intra-Africa trade and high costs of doing business are largely caused by Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs). Non-tariff barriers comprise a wide array of regulatory and procedural barriers to trade, except regular customs duties. See here for some more examples
AfCFTA negotiators recognised that addressing NTBs would be a key ingredients to the effective implementation of the AfCFTA. They set out an ambitious plan: The AfCFTA Protocol on Trade in Goods calls for the elimination of NTBs. Annex 5 to the Protocol on Trade in Goods deals explicitly with NTBs. It establishes a reporting, monitoring and elimination mechanism where private sector can file complaint on a specific trade obstacles. The complaint is then transmitted to the government of the responsible trading partner to react to the complaint and resolve it within concrete timelines. The reported NTBs also feed into national and regional trade policy improvements.
How the mechanism works
The AfCFTA online NTBs reporting, monitoring and eliminating mechanism is available on this website. The web-based NTBs mechanism will enhance transparency, easy follow-up and resolution of reported and identified NTBs.
This is YOUR CHANCE if you are an exporter or importer in Africa, even as a small trader. Register here and report the NTB that you are facing You can also see the status of ongoing resolution processes and already resolved NTBs .
Don’t miss this opportunity to boost your business and to Creating One African Market!