Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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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 express train promises to reduce transit times between Mozambique, South Africa and Eswatini

Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM), the State-owned company responsible for the management of the Port and Railway system in Mozambique, has announced that an express train will be soon launched to facilitate the mobility of people and goods between the port of Maputo and South Africa and Eswatini. The announcement was made during the Maputo International Fair (FACIM), the Mozambique’s biggest trade, industrial and services fair, by the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the CFM. This initiative follows the recent signature by the CFM of two agreements, one with the South Africa’s Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) for the elimination of rail borders (dated 1 July 2022) and one with Eswatini Railways dated 5 August for the abolition of the rail border on the Goba rail line, which now allows the free movement of freight trains (mainly transporting coal) between the two countries.

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SADC certificate of Origin enters into pilot phase

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) will officially launch tomorrow (7th September 2022) in Blantyre, a pilot test of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) electronic Certificate of Origin (e-CoO). The e-CoO launch will be preceded by a workshop to be held today at the presence of Member/Partner States from SADC, EAC and COMESA, as well as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, the World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretariat and customs officials and Private Sector representatives. The workshop aims at exploring ways to improve the SADC intra-regional trade through the smooth movement of goods across the borders with the overall objective of aiding the region’s economic development.

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6th High-Level Tax Policy Dialogue say Africa should implement domestic resource mobilisation reforms to offset AfCFTA tariff loss

Against the backdrop of a loss of revenues deriving from the AfCFTA implementation (due to the waiver of import duties on intra-Africa trade), African countries need to implement Domestic Resource Mobilisation reforms, as well as to intentionally eliminate Non-Tariff Barriers able to cancel the gains of the AfCFTA. This is one of the main conclusions of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF)'s 6TH High-Level Tax Policy Dialogue held from 3 to 4 August 2022.

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Tripartite Free Trade Area struggles to enter into force

The Tripartite Free Trade Area still struggles to enter into force, despite its member countries signed the Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement (TFTA) seven years ago. The TFTA was launched in 2015 with the aim to combine into an enlarged Free Trade Area (FTA) three Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Africa, namely: the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC). A Tripartite Task Force made up of the Chief Executives of the 3 RECs serves as the Secretariat of the Tripartite Policy organs and is responsible to coordinate the implementation of the Tripartite Free Trade Area work programme. This body rotates annually among the three RECs. On 16th July, 2022 the Chairmanship was taken up by COMESA.

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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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