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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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The AfCFTA impact on the growth of fresh produce intra-african trade

The recent International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) Southern Africa Conference held from 17 to 18 August in Cape Town was an occasion to discuss the impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on intra-african exports of fresh produce. Fresh produce represent one of the category of goods most traded between African States, accounting for more than 60 percent of the total trade in such goods (Ethiopia leading the rank). The remaining share of African production in such items is exported mainly to the EU (27%) and Asia (11%), as shown in the figure below.

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COMESA RCTG Carnet: plans for a possible roll out on the North-South corridor

A national consultative meeting on the implementation of the COMESA Regional Customs Transit Guarantee (also known as RCTG Carnet) was held on Thursday 25 August 2022 in Zambia to take stock of the status of implementation of the RCTG carnet in the COMESA region and discuss issues and concerns raised by Zambia about the operationalisation of this tool in its territory. The RCTG is a customs transit regime whose objective is to reduce the cost of moving goods in transit in the COMESA region so to enhance the trade competitiveness especially of landlocked countries, that suffer from higher transport and transit costs, due to the fact that they depend on neighbouring coastal states to access to seaports that allow them to reach international markets.

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AfCFTA e-tariff book, user guide available

The AfCFTA e-tariff book, launched in the end of July 2022 as a key tool for African States to begin trading under the AfCFTA rules, is a digital platform with updated information on tariff concessions that each AfCFTA State Party and Customs Union in Africa has accorded to goods imported from other AfCFTA State Parties. A user guide on how to use the manual has been made available on the e-tariff book website and can be accessed here.

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From ITC a roadmap to build an integrated risk management framework for identifying risky trade transactions

One of the main responsibilities of border regulatory agencies involved in cross-border trade transactions, and Customs in particular, is to expedite the supply of goods while ensuring compliance and safety. Among the tools that are mainly used to reconcile the functions of controlling the international movement of goods with the needs of trade facilitation, there are the risk profiling, scoring and management techniques: all activities that such agencies today usually conduct with the support of specific IT and data analysis systems. The reality, however, is that both Customs and the other regulatory agencies use data analysis almost exclusively for conducting risk management and risk scoring activities, while such techniques could be used also for facilitating trade, as explained in this article that we published a few years ago in the World Customs Journal. Another problem of risk analysis systems, especially in economies in transition, is that they are often not integrated with each other. Accordingly, risk analysis is normally conducted separately by each agency, without cooperative relationships among them, as joint risk analysis are quite rare.

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Shipping industry asks removal of the Somalia coast from high risk areas, as piracy declines in Indian Ocean

The International Chamber of Shipping, with a press release issued on 22 August, announced that a request has been submitted to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) together with other representatives of the worldwide shipping industry, to remove the section of the Indian Ocean waters including the Gulf of Aden in Somalia, as well as the Djibouti, Eritrea and a part of the Kenyan coast from the list of the piracy-high risk areas, due to a significant reduction of pirates attacks in the latest years. The request will be discussed on 31 October 2022 to the next meeting of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee, the body dealing with all issues related to maritime safety and maritime security of passenger and cargo ships, with the removal to be effective from 1 January 2023.

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