Saturday, September 23, 2023
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Desiderio Consultants Ltd. is a think tank and a network of independent professional international development consultants established to promote and influence customs & trade-related policies in African nations to achieve trade facilitation reforms aimed at improving international and regional trade
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New study proves that flexible Product-Specific Rules of origin increase global trade

Rules of Origin (RoO) aim at avoiding the practice of introducing into preferential trade areas products originating from third countries through the territory partner that applies the lowest tariff, from where they are shipped to the destination country, thereby circumventing the higher tariffs of the latter. In addition to general rules describing the basic criteria to be used to determine the origin of goods, Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) also contain a series of rules called Product-Specific Rules (PSR), also known as “list rules”, which describe the minimal working or processing operations that must be carried out on non-originating materials used in the manufacture of a certain product, so that the latter can obtain the originating status of one of the PTA partners.


Which opportunities for product diversification in Africa?

A common theme underlying the recommendations that are usually addressed to African countries to stimulate the structural transformation of their economies and increase resilience is the need for export diversification. A study published by UNCTAD in 2022 argued that Africa is the second least diversified geographical region in the world (after Oceania), hosting economies such as Guinea-Bissau that exports only 178 product lines in total. A new paper, always from UNCTAD, identifies the sectors offering the greatest opportunities for export diversification and that can therefore drive productivity and production growth in the continent. The study argues that the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) gives new momentum to promote export diversification at the continental level by providing a larger market and reducing trade costs, revealing that the product diversification potential greatly varies from country to country, but with some commonalities.


Burundi inaugurates Regional Command Operating Centre for monitoring transit goods

The EAC has developed since 2018 a web-based Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) that is currently implemented along the Northern Corridor from the place of departure to destination within the territories of Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. The system, which is used also to monitor the movement of vehicles carrying goods in transit along some sections of the Central Corridor, is based on the use of GPS/GPRS and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology devices that allow customs administrations in the Region to track the movement of vehicles along road corridors moving from one point to the other, so to ensure the integrity of consignments. The RECTS is based on the use of electronic seals that must be affixed on trucks and that are provided by one of the companies licensed by the Revenue Authorities of EAC partner States. Once completed the trip, the device is returned to the company so that it can be transferred and re-used by other trucks.


Two African countries join the BRICS

After three days of closed-door discussions between members, the President of South Africa, which is hosting the 2023 BRICS Forum, has confirmed today that six new countries have been admitted to join the BRICS bloc of developing nations starting from 1 January 2024. Two of them: Egypt and Ethiopia, are African. The other four countries that will access the bloc are Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


Which potential for Africa to Capture Technology-Intensive Global Supply Chains?

The new report from UNCTAD ‘The Potential of Africa to Capture Technology-Intensive Global Supply Chains’, analyses the challenges to the economic growth of Africa and the sectors where the potential is higher. The cost of production is indicated as an important factor for the integration of Africa into supply chains, which affects investment decisions of firms to move entire production processes to the continent. The study notes that as the transportation costs are already high (due to the long distances that cargo must travel from the production sites to the consumption destinations), it is extremely important to compensate such challenge with low production costs.


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